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Current projects and publications

Current projects
ParkC publications

Current projects

Cognitive Training and Brain Stimulation in Parkinson’s Disease

Chief Researcher: Blake Lawrence
Supervisory Researchers: Dr Andrea Loftus and A/Professor Natalie Gasson

Parkinson’s Disease can lead to problems with thinking, planning and memory. Blake’s study is examining if ‘brain training’ and ‘brain stimulation’ can be used to help improve problems like these in people with Parkinson’s. Brain training is a way of engaging the parts of the brain responsible for thinking, planning and memory and involves completing a few puzzles each day. Brain stimulation involves passing a small current through the part of the brain responsible for thinking, planning and memory – which is safe and painless. If you would like more information about this research or if you would like to participate in Blake’s study, please contact him via phone 0415 621 061 or email blake.lawrence@postgrad.curtin.edu.au


Impact of Brain Stimulation in Chronic Lower Back Pain

Chief Researcher: Emily Corti
Supervisory Researchers: Dr Andrea Loftus and A/Professor Natalie Gasson

Chronic lower back pain is often assumed to be the result of an injury or trauma to the lower back. However, we now know that pain can persist long after the original injury is healed. Little is known about why chronic lower back pain continues to persist long after the original injury is healed. In other forms of chronic pain, changes in the firing of neurons in the brain have been associated with the persistence of pain. Emily’s study is examining if the neurons are firing differently in people with chronic lower back pain, and if they are, if brain stimulation could be used to help restore normal neuronal activity. Emily’s study is also examining how attending to pain may impact on memory, thinking and planning. Emily will also examine if brain stimulation could help to improve these problems in people with chronic lower back pain. Brain stimulation involves passing a small current through the part of the brain responsible for memory, thinking and planning. The brain stimulation is safe, painless and approved by the Therapeutics Goods Association. If you would like more information about this research of if you would like to participate in Emily’s study, please contact her via phone 0431 584 166 or email Emily.corti@postgrad.curtin.edu.au

ParkC publications

2015

Loftus, A.M., Bucks, R.S., Thomas, M.G., Kane, R., Timms, C., Barker, R.A., & Gasson, N. (2015). Retrospective Assessment of Movement Disorder Society Criteria for Mild Cognitive Impairment in Parkinson’s Disease. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 21, 1 – 9. DOI: 10.1017/S1355617715000041


2013

Whitworth, S., Loftus, A.M., Skinner T.C., Gasson, N., Barker, R., Bucks, R. & Thomas, M.G. (2013) Personality Affects Aspects of Health-Related Quality of Life in Parkinson’s Disease via Psychological Coping Strategies. Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, 3, 45 – 53. DOI: 10.3233/JPD-120149


2010

Cruise, K., Bucks, R., Loftus, A.M., Newton, R., Pegoraro, R., Thomas, M. (2010) Exercise and Parkinson’s: Benefits for cognition and quality of life. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, 123, 13 – 19

Bucks, R., Cruise, K., Loftus, A.M., Skinner, T., Barker, R., Thomas, M. (2010) Coping processes and health-related quality of life in Parkinson’s disease. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26, 247 – 255


For copies of these papers, please email andrea.loftus@curtin.edu.au