Bristol Science Festival – 2nd to 4th March 2023

A photo of Safi Smith and Lauren McNicholas, members of the Ageing and Movement Research Group team, sitting at a table covered in a red cloth, with a model of a brain, bags of popcorn and information about the studies being conducted by the Group. Behind them are large posters with information about the Group, the PRIME-Parkinson study and the CHIEF-PD study.

From 2nd to 4th March 2023, the AMRG celebrated all things “Neuroscience” at the Bristol Neuroscience Festival.

Armed with our interactive model brain, we spoke with the public about Parkinson’s, how it affects the brain, and how our research is helping to empower people with Parkinson’s. It was wonderful to talk with so many different people, from primary school children to older people. Many people we spoke to knew someone with Parkinson’s and we enjoyed listening to their thoughts and opinions on our research.

We also brought along our skeleton to explain why people with Parkinson’s are at higher risk of having falling, and what this could mean for someone’s quality of life. Falls are a common complication of Parkinson’s which can cause serious injury and hospitalisation and dramatically reduce a person’s quality of life. It was fantastic to engage with school students and test their knowledge about which bones are at highest risk of fracturing in the older population.

A plastic skeleton model standing next to a poster describing of the CHIEF-PD study.   A model of a tree with green paper leaves on which people have hand-written messages about the CHIEF-PD study on Parkinson's.

One of the highlights of the festival was reading through the messages left on our “leaf a message” tree. We had some wonderful messages left by both adults and children. These have served as a reminder of why our research is so important and has given an extra morale boost to the team!

A green paper leaf with handwritten message reading: I think that researching Parkinson's is amazing! I learnt a lot and it was really clearly explained.A green paper leaf with hand-written message reading: I hope that the patches work and anybody who gets Parkinsons gets better.

A green paper leaf with handwritten message reading: I think it's great what you're doing. I hope people stop getting Parkinson's.