University expert gets funding for Parkinson’s project

Dr Palaniappan RamaswamyDr Palaniappan Ramaswamy, from the University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, is set to work with the University of Malaysia, Perlis, on the project.

The two institutions will work together to analyse brain signals given out when people suffering with Parkinson’s – a degenerative nerve disorder – are given emotional stimulation.

While the Malaysian institution will be involved in the collection of brain signals from Parkinson’s patients, Dr Ramaswamy and staff at the University of Wolverhampton will analyse the collected brain data to extract appropriate biomarkers - a characteristic which may indicate a biological state or condition.

It is hoped these biomarkers will highlight the emotional responses which can then be compared to those registered in subjects not suffering from the condition.

It is hoped that by looking at the emotional responses of Parkinson’s sufferers, more can be learned about the condition and its development within the patient.

The £2,000 UK-Southeast Asia Knowledge Partnership grant has been awarded by the British Council and will be used to fund the travel between the two universities.

Dr Ramaswamy said: “While Parkinson’s disease has traditionally been described as a movement disorder, the hypothesis here is that there is disruption in emotion information processing associated with the disease.

“However, not much work has been studied in the emotional aspect of such patients. The aim of this collaborative link will be to investigate whether there are specific electroencephalographic characteristics that discriminate Parkinson’s patients and normal controls during emotion information processing.

“The collaboration will benefit not only Parkinson’s patients in establishing biomarkers of the disease and providing an objective technique for the investigation of emotional state changes in Parkinson’s, but also contribute to the development of the research groups in both the University of Wolverhampton and the University of Malaysia, Perlis.”

ENDS

For more information please contact Chris Jones in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736

Date Issued: Monday 21 October 2013

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