People with Parkinson’s disease (PD) can often have sleep problems such as finding it difficult to fall asleep, waking up frequently throughout the night or falling asleep during the day.

Breathing abnormalities such as shortness of breath are among other non-motor symptoms, contributing to fatigue, reduced physical activity and problems with speech and swallowing.

Western Australia’s Perron Institute, based in Nedlands, is recruiting participants for a pilot study to evaluate sleep and pulmonary function in Parkinson’s and the effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS) on sleep and breathing function. The research team is looking for people aged between 50 and 80 years with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s to take part.

Participants will undertake specialised sleep studies and breathing tests at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital’s Pulmonary Physiology and Sleep Medicine Department to improve understanding of how Parkinson’s affects the sleep and breathing centres in the brain.

The Principal Investigators are Dr Srimathy Vijayan (Perron Institute Consultant Neurologist); Clinical Associate Professor Rick Stell (Perron Institute and SCGH Consultant Neurologist); Professor Frank Mastaglia (Perron Institute Research Advisor); and Clinical Professor Bhajan Singh (Consultant Respiratory/Sleep Physician, Pulmonary Physiology Dept, SCGH).

The study is the topic of Dr Vijayan’s PhD thesis being undertaken at the Perron Institute via UWA.

“The recruitment process is active and patients enrolled will have appointments scheduled at their convenience over the next 12 months,” she said.

“We are looking for PD patients with and without DBS who may have breathing and sleep problems. We aim to recruit 40 medical patients and 10 DBS patients for this study.”

If you are interested, click here for more information, or please contact the research team directly on 08 6457 0200 or email:

PEDS-PD study: a pilot study evaluating the effects of deep brain stimulation on sleep and pulmonary function in Parkinson’s Disease.

Photo caption: L-R Alexa Jefferson (nurse specialist), Associate Professor Stell, Dr Vijayan – PEDS-PD Perron Institute study team in the clinic.