12 Jun Predicting memory loss in Parkinson's, 22 The Avenue phoneline, Alexander Morison archive
As the population ages, Parkinson's disease is the fastest growing neurodegenerative disease. Symptoms of tremor and difficulties with co-ordination are well known, but memory problems or cognitive decline also affects over 30% of patients. Until now doctors had no reliable way of predicting which people will develop these cognitive symptoms or how serious they'd get. Now a team at Kings College London has found a way of doing this before symptoms even begin using an MRI brain scanner. Claudia Hammond meets neuroimaging researcher Heather Wilson, and Marios Politis, the Lily Safra Professor of Neurology and Neuroimaging at Kings College London to examine the benefits of its predictive power.We hear about the last Group Finalist in this year's All in the Mind Mental Health Award : 22 The Avenue is a mental health telephone helpline which has been going for 15 years in York - and it's funded by the council. The staff there have been nominated by Jackie who has been receiving support from the team on and off for much of that time.Medical Historian Sarah Wise uncovers the archive of celebrated 19th century psychiatrist Sir Alexander Morison, held in his home city of Edinburgh, He made a serious attempt to raise the professional profile of 'lunatic' attendants / keepers - a job that was very looked down on, but crucial in the burgeoning world of both public-sector and private asylum care. The archive offers a unique insight into a voice that up until now has gone missing in mental health history.