Madeleine Sharp MD MSc, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University
Montreal Neurological Hospital
This is an investigator-led study.
To determine whether acute psychosocial stress causes a more significant physiological stress response in patients with Parkinson’s disease compared with age-matched healthy controls.
This study will consist of two main phases: 1) A purely behavioural web-based study to measure the self-reported and cognitive effects of stress in people with and without Parkinson’s disease; 2) in a separate sample, an in-person study to additionally measure the physiological and biological effects of stress in people with and without Parkinson’s disease.
Both phases will begin with a pilot study to address logistical issues related to the exact design of the study (e.g., choice of best stimuli, the difficulty of cognitive tests, etc.). The primary research will follow them.
In both the online and face-to-face studies, baseline cognitive functioning will be assessed using neuropsychological tasks. To induce stress, we propose to use a variant of the Montreal Imagery Stress Task (MIST), which asks participants to solve complex mathematical problems under time pressure. To examine the effects of stress on cognition, we will use a variety of validated computerized cognitive tasks that measure executive function and memory and be sensitive to the effects of stress. Validated questionnaires will be used to assess psychiatric symptoms.
This section is divided into three parts: I) General procedure, II) Clinical information, and III) Cognitive tasks. For simplicity, in each area, we will detail the in-person phase first (because it is more comprehensive), then the online phase (because its procedures include a subset of the in-person phase).
Madeleine Sharp MD MSc, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University
Ross Otto Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, McGill University
Helene Deutsch, Patient Partner, Role: Advisor during the development of the platform
Montreal Neurological Hospital
This is an investigator-initiated study.
To harness advances in cognitive neuroscience to identify specific mechanisms of behavioural deficits in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Observational longitudinal study based on online data collection. We propose to develop an online platform for large-scale quantitative mechanism-based behavioural testing in patients with Parkinson’s disease. In this feasibility study, we will first focus on the cognitive mechanisms of apathy. Our large sample size will allow us to control for individual differences in other related mechanisms, namely the ability to process reward and maintain attention, in addition to controlling for comorbid symptoms. We will collaborate with a patient partner to optimize the development of our platform and demonstrate the feasibility and reliability of online cognitive phenotyping.