You can match people with the best treatments for their pain

Everyone can play a part in the search for better treatments. The more people who give, the faster we'll get there.

Better treatments for pain

Pain affects up to 60% of people with Parkinson's. It has a huge impact on day to day life. Some people with the condition can't sleep or move. You can help change this.

Dr Kirsty Bannister is looking to find better ways of treating pain. By, developing personal pain profiles that could help match people to the right treatment, she's hoping to stop their pain. Meaning they can enjoy life to the full.
 
Watch the video below to find out more about this vital study.

Why do we need better treatments for pain?

Pain is a common symptom of Parkinson's, but everyone experiences it differently.

While there are many treatments for pain, this can make it difficult for clinicians to prescribe the treatment that will give the best and fastest relief. It may be that several treatments have to be tried before finding one that works.

Clare was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2016 and experiences painful muscle cramps:

"The pain is incredibly debilitating. It can take away your enjoyment of life. Pain can ruin a day."

Dr Kirsty Bannister, and her team at King's College London, are aiming to develop personal pain profiles for people with Parkinson's. These profiles could allow us to understand people's sensitivity to pain and how that links to changes in the body that cause pain to develop. The profiles will be tailored to each individual.

In the future, this could make it easier for clinicians to understand the nature of someone's pain and match each individual with the right treatment. For Clare, this could allow her to enjoy each day pain-free.
 

Donate today and help match people like Clare with the best treatment for their pain

A gift of £50 could help one person with Parkinson’s to participate in Dr Bannister’s study
 

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What is Dr Bannister doing?

Dr Bannister will carry out 2 tests.

The first will measure how sensitive someone is to pain by looking at how they respond to sensations like pressure or temperature. This could be using a simple pinprick or even a feather.

The second test will measure how well nerve pathways in the body that normally inhibit pain are working. These nerve pathways play a vital role in our bodies. They're why, for example, if you bang your elbow it may normally only hurt for a short amount of time.

Previously, Dr Bannister found that these nerve pathways aren't working properly in animal models of Parkinson's. She'll now use a specialist piece of equipment, called a cuff algometer, which measures this in people.
 

How can this research help to treat pain?

Before beginning her study, Dr Bannister spoke to a focus group from the Parkinson's community about their experiences of pain:

"People told me they want treatments that work for them as individuals, and we know that everyone's experience of Parkinson's is different. Personal pain profiles will help ensure that every aspect of someone's pain is addressed."

In addition, Dr Bannister will compare the results across 3 groups of people: those who experience constant pain as a symptom of their Parkinson's, those who don't experience pain, and those who don't have the condition at all.

This could not only help us learn about pain in Parkinson's, but also help us to understand more about the underlying causes of the condition, opening up avenues for new treatments in the future.

It costs £189,950 to fund Dr Kirsty Bannister's research.

Will you give a gift today? Together, we can treat pain better.