Pilot study:

Identifying the optimal animal model for the study of pain in Parkinson’s disease

Investigators: Veronica Bruno, Tuan Trang, Gerald Zamponi, Patrick Whelan, David Park

Pain is one of the more frequent and debilitating non-motor symptoms reported by patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Understanding the mechanisms of pain in PD is crucial to develop and target-specific treatments. Additionally, it could provide essential insights into the pathophysiology of other symptoms of the disease.

Animal models are an invaluable resource for the understanding of disease-specific mechanisms. The present study hypothesizes that pain in PD will be better understood by selecting an optimal animal model.

This important collaborative study involving clinical and basic science researchers will be the initial step in obtaining the optimal model for the evaluation of pain in PD. We propose the preparation of 3 potential models that will be used to compare the response to nociceptive stimuli in affected animals and controls. We propose to identify an optimal model for the study of pain in PD that will serve as the starting point for translational studies with the final goal of treating pain in this condition, improving the quality of life of our patients.