Movement Disorders Research Current Projects

Movement Disorders research taking place at North Bristol NHS Trust

The team work closely on a number of regional, national and international research studies and are developing a mixed portfolio of studies that will collectively address knowledge gaps in Parkinson’s Disease and other Movement Disorders.

Current studies:


Tracking Parkinson's is the world's largest ever in-depth study of people with Parkinson's.
Launched in 2012, Tracking Parkinson's aims to study thousands of people to learn more about how the condition develops and progresses. Ultimately, the aim is to develop biomarkers that will allow us to diagnose and monitor Parkinson's accurately. They have recruited 2,240 people across 70 study centres UK-wide.
This study has been extended to continue monitoring those participants currently recruited. The aim is to extend the study up to 9 years.
This study is run by Southern General Hospital, Glasgow and is funded by Parkinson’s UK
Further study information can be found here.

Principal Investigator: Dr Alan Whone
Investigators: Louise Gethin – Research Nurse


PD-COMM is a multi-centre study Randomised Controlled Trial to Compare the Clinical and Cost Effectiveness of Lee Silverman Voice Treatment Versus Standard NHS Speech and Language Therapy Versus Control in Parkinson’s Disease
This study is looking into whether Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) helps people with speech or voice difficulties as a result of their Parkinson’s disease. Currently there is little evidence as to whether SLT benefits people with Parkinson’s disease. Two different types of SLT are currently offered by the NHS for people with Parkinson’s: standard NHS SLT or Lee Silverman Vocal Treatment (LSVT). Once we have completed this study, we will be able to use the results to say what is the best way Speech and Language Therapy can help Parkinson’s disease patients.

This study is run by the University of Birmingham through the Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit and is funded by the National Institute of Health Research’s Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme. Here at Southmead, the study intervention is conducted by our Speech and Language Therapy team and supports their strategy of implementing research which ultimately impacts and improves outcomes for people of all ages with communication impairments.

Further study information can be found here. 

Principal Investigator: Dr Alan Whone
Investigators: Dr Michal Rolinski


PD-SENSORS (Parkinson's Disease Symptom Evaluation in a Naturalistic Environment producing Outcome measuRes using SPHERE technology).

PD-SENSORS is an innovative Parkinson's measurement and monitoring project using a wearable device and sensors set up in a home environment which is being developed at the University of Bristol.

The Sensor Platform for Healthcare in a Residential Environment (SPHERE) project is developing a system of wearable technology and sensors for homes which will establish an improved system of measurement of motor and non-motor symptoms in Parkinson's and more accurately detect small changes in the condition for use in clinical trials and improving the quality of life of individuals.

If you are interested in finding out more about this study, please contact study researcher Dr Cathy Morgan on or 07970657958.

End date: March 2023


MAPS-PD is a single-centre, investigator led, pilot study investigating motor adaptation in Parkinson’s disease, REM-sleep behaviour disorder patients and healthy controls using reaching and walking tasks.
The purpose of this small study is to assess the way people with Parkinson’s and REM-sleep behaviour disorder adapt their movements during reaching and walking tasks when compared to healthy volunteers. We will do this by gathering data on the time taken and the accuracy of movement in the subjects' adaptation to simple changes in the external environment.

Host site: North Bristol NHS Trust

Principal Investigator:  Dr Alan Whone

Investigators: Dr Mihaela Boca, Dr Michal Rolinski


CHARMED-MS is an observational study looking at the characteristics of tremor in people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and essential tremor referred to the Movement Disorders team for consideration of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). Study participants will have their arm movements and tremor measured using surface worn sensors in order to identify different tremor characteristics. It is expected that this study will help to identify types of tremor that best respond to DBS and in turn help to inform patient selection for people with MS and tremor referred for DBS

Principal Investigator: Dr Konrad Szewczyk-Krolikowski

End date: 31 January 2022


High frequency Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is an effective and established treatment for moderate to advanced Parkinson's disease (PD). Bioinduction Medical have developed a new DBS device, Picostim, for this application with improved technology, a skull mounted system, and reduced surgical risks and duration. This study will evaluate the Picostim device in patients at 12, 26 and 52 weeks post¬implantation, with respect to motor and non motor function, quality of life, mood, and cognition; ease of use and patient experience; and cost and resource use.

Host Site: North Bristol NHS Trust

Chief Investigator: Dr Alan Whone

End Date: 14/02/2023