The Perron Institute is continuing to recruit people living with Parkinson’s to participate in a quality-of-life study for people with this diagnosis.

The study, developed in the UK, is titled Trajectories of Outcome in Neurological Conditions, or TONiC. It is led in WA by Professor Sulev Koks, MD PhD, who heads Genetic Epidemiology Research at the Perron Institute and holds a joint appointment with the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovative Therapeutics at Murdoch University.

“Parkinson’s is not the same for every patient. People will progress at different rates, or experience certain symptoms that affect their day-to-day life more than those same symptoms affect others with the disease,” Professor Koks said.

“These differences can change the way people cope with disease progression, as can a patient’s personal characteristics or social context.

“Identifying factors that influence patient quality-of-life opens opportunities to expand and improve health services and support, as well as working towards more personalised care.

“An individual’s genetic makeup can also influence social, psychological and biological responses. We are investigating this as part of the TONiC study for the purpose of early intervention with care plans and treatments.

“By investigating genetic factors that influence and contribute to Parkinson’s, it is possible eventually to create targeted treatments and predict disease progression.”

Last year, Parkinson’s WA provided additional funding for a genetic component of the MSWA-funded study. Western Australia is the first site outside the UK to implement the TONiC study.

The study team is contributing TONiC Parkinson’s data to the Global Parkinson’s Genetics Program, part of the Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s initiative. This enables data to be analysed in greater detail and increases Western Australia’s contribution to large-scale international genetic investigations.

For this study, participants can expect an annual questionnaire, and provide a saliva sample for DNA analysis. The study team is also looking for control subjects who do not have Parkinson’s.

If you would like to be involved, or know someone who may be interested, please email

Photo caption: Perron Institute TONiC team L-R Prof Sulev Koks, Jack Price and Denise Howting.