Using visual dysfunction to understand dementia in Parkinson’s disease

Award Number
Award Type
Clinical Research Career Development Fellowships
Status / Stage
12 June 2017 -
12 September 2023
Duration (calculated)
06 years 03 months
Wellcome Trust
Funding Amount
Funder/Grant study page
Wellcome Trust
Contracted Centre
University College London
Contracted Centre Webpage
Principal Investigator
Dr Rimona Weil
PI Contact
WHO Catergories
Tools and methodologies for interventions
Understanding risk factors
Understanding Underlying Disease
Disease Type
Parkinson's Dementia

CPEC Review Info
Reference ID303
ResearcherReside Team


Award Number205167/Z/16/Z
Status / StageActive
Start Date20170612
End Date20230912
Duration (calculated) 06 years 03 months
Funder/Grant study pageWellcome Trust
Contracted CentreUniversity College London
Contracted Centre Webpage
Funding Amount£1,223,282.00


Dementia affects half of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) but there are no robust measures to predict who is at highest risk. Visual hallucinations are highly distressing to patients and carers but are poorly understood. This Fellowship will use visuo-perceptual dysfunction to predict dementia and understand hallucinations in PD.
I have developed a novel test using skewed images to detect visuo-perceptual deficits in Parkinson’s patients. I have also developed a web-based platform to enable this and other visual tests to be accessed by large numbers of patients with PD.


In this proposal I will use visual perceptual tests combined with neuroimaging over time to determine the sequence of visuo-perceptual deficits in PD. I will relate these to changes in hallucinations. I will use my web-based platform to identify clinical and genetic associations with visual deficits and determine their role in predicting dementia in PD. Goals:
1. Characterise changes in visuo-perception as PD progresses and correlate deficits with brain atrophy.
2. Relate MRI structural connectivity changes with disease progression.
3. Examine clinical and genetic associations of visual dysfunction in PD.
4. Test whether transcranial stimulation can improve visuo-perceptual function in PD.
5. Determine how visual hallucinations become distressing as PD advances.