The eye as an early biomarker of Parkinson’s disease

It’s surprising to many that it is very difficult to diagnosis Parkinson’s disease. If often takes a couple of years for people to receive their diagnosis and it is, at best, 80% accurate. The Parkinson’s Disease Group is working to use the anatomy and physiology of the eye to develop a test to assist clinicians with earlier and more accurate diagnosis.

It’s been recently recognised that eye function changes in Parkinson’s disease. We are extending the current technology to assist in diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression.


  • Use animal models of Parkinson’s to understand the anatomy and physiological changes.
  • Perform eye tests on people living with Parkinson’s to develop a simple eye test.

Research team


Associate Professor Christine Nguyen, University of Melbourne


  • Tran KKN, Wong VHY, Lim JKH, Shahandeh A, Hoang A, Finkelstein DI, Bui BV, Nguyen CTO (2022) ‘Characterization of retinal function and structure in the MPTP murine model of Parkinson’s disease’, Scientific Reports, 9:12(1):7610, doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-11495-z
  • Shahandeh A, Bui BV, Finkelstein DI, Nguyen CTO, (2022) ‘Effects of excess iron on the retina: insights from clinical cases and animal models of iron disorders’, Frontiers in Neuroscience, 3(15):794809, doi: 10.3389/fnins.2021.794809

Contact us

Professor David Finkelstein

Group Head
[email protected]