Dr Caroline Williams-Gray MRCP PhD

Caroline Williams-Gray

University position

MRC Clinician Scientist

Dr Caroline Williams-Gray MRCP PhD is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Department of Clinical Neurosciences


Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair



Home page


Research Themes

Clinical and Veterinary Neuroscience

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience


My research aims to better define the clinical heterogeneity of Parkinson’s disease and to understand the neurobiological basis of this, with the ultimate goal of developing more targeted therapeutic strategies for different PD subtypes. Using epidemiological, functional MRI and genetic approaches, my work to date has defined and characterised distinct cognitive syndromes in PD, and developed prognostic tools for dementia risk and poor outcome which can be used for early stratification. My group is currently investigating the role of the immune system in mediating heterogeneity of outcome in PD, through clinicopathological work, PET neuroimaging and studies of peripheral immune function in PD patients.

Research Focus


Parkinson's disease



immune system


Clinical conditions

Parkinson's disease


Cross-sectional and cohort studies




Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Neuropsychological testing

Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

Randomised control trials



Roger Barker

Carol Brayne

Menna Clatworthy

Alasdair Coles

Joanne Jones

David Klenerman

John O'Brien

Trevor Robbins

Stephen Sawcer

United Kingdom

David Burn Web: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/nnp

Carmen Martin-Ruiz Web: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/cisban/...

Alison Yarnall Web: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/caru


Rob De Bie Web: https://www.amc.nl/web/Res...

Gert Geurtsen Web: https://www.amc.nl/web/Res...

Mike Nalls Web: http://www.grc.nia.nih.gov

Clemens Scherzer Web: https://www.scherzerlaboratory.org/

Andrew Singleton Web: http://irp.nih.gov/

Associated News Items

Key publications

Williams-Gray CH, Wijeyekoon RS, Scott KM, Hayat S, Barker RA, Jones JL (2018), “Abnormalities of age-related T cell senescence in Parkinson's disease.” Journal of neuroinflammation. 15(1):166

Velseboer DC, de Bie RMA, Wieske L, Evans JR, Mason SL, Foltynie T, Schmand B, de Haan RJ, Post B, Barker RA, Williams-Gray CH (2016), “Development and external validation of a prognostic model in newly-diagnosed Parkinson’s disease” Neurology 86(11):986-93.

Williams-Gray CH, Wijeyekoon R, Yarnall AJ, Lawson RA, Breen DP, Evans JR, Cummins GE, Duncan GW, Khoo TK, Burn DJ, Barker RA (2016), “Serum immune markers and disease progression in an incident Parkinson’s disease cohort (ICICLE-PD)” Mov Disord 31(7):995-1003

Williams-Gray CH, Mason SL, Evans JR, Foltynie T, Brayne C, Robbins TW, Barker RA (2013), “The CamPaIGN study of Parkinson's disease: 10-year outlook in an incident population-based cohort.” J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 84(11):1258-64 Details

Williams-Gray CH, Evans JR, Goris A, Foltynie T, Ban M, Robbins TW, Brayne C, Kolachana BS, Weinberger DR, Sawcer SJ, Barker RA (2009), “The distinct cognitive syndromes of Parkinson's disease: 5 year follow-up of the CamPaIGN cohort.” Brain 132(Pt 11):2958-69 Details

Williams-Gray CH, Hampshire A, Barker RA, Owen AM (2008), “Attentional control in Parkinson's disease is dependent on COMT val 158 met genotype.” Brain 131(Pt 2):397-408 Details

Goris A, Williams-Gray CH, Clark GR, Foltynie T, Lewis SJ, Brown J, Ban M, Spillantini MG, Compston A, Burn DJ, Chinnery PF, Barker RA, Sawcer SJ (2007), “Tau and alpha-synuclein in susceptibility to, and dementia in, Parkinson's disease. Ann Neurol” [E-pub ahead of print] Details

Williams-Gray CH, Foltynie T, Brayne CE, Robbins TW, Barker RA (2007), “Evolution of cognitive dysfunction in an incident Parkinson's disease cohort.” Brain 130(Pt 7):1787-98 Details

Williams-Gray CH, Hampshire A, Robbins TW, Owen AM, Barker RA (2007), “Catechol O-methyltransferase Val158Met genotype influences frontoparietal activity during planning in patients with Parkinson's disease” J Neurosci 27:4832-4838 Details



Collins LM, Williams-Gray CH, Morris E, Deegan P, Cox TM, Barker RA (2018), “The motor and cognitive features of Parkinson's disease in patients with concurrent Gaucher disease over 2 years: a case series.” J Neurol. 265(8):1789-94

Greenland JC, Williams-Gray CH, Barker RA (2018), “The clinical heterogeneity of Parkinson's disease and its therapeutic implications.” The European journal of neuroscience. 10.1111/ejn.14094

Scott KM, Williams-Gray CH (2018), “Targeting aged astrocytes may be a new therapeutic strategy in Parkinson's disease. ” Mov Disord 33(5):758-9.


Lawson RA, Yarnall AJ, Duncan GW, Breen DP, Khoo TK, Williams-Gray CH, Barker RA, Burn DJ, ICICLE-PD Study group. (2017), “Stability of mild cognitive impairment in newly diagnosed Parkinson's disease. ” Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry. 88(8):648-52.

Lehericy S, Vaillancourt DE, Seppi K, Monchi O, Rektorova I, Antonini A, McKeown MJ, Masellis M, Berg D, Rowe JB, Lewis SJG, Williams-Gray CH, Tessitore A, Siebner HR, International P, Movement Disorder Society - Neuroimaging Study Group (2017), “The role of high-field magnetic resonance imaging in parkinsonian disorders: Pushing the boundaries forward. ” Mov Disord. 32(4):510-25

Liu G, Locascio JJ, Corvol JC, Boot B, Liao Z, Page K, Franco D, Burke K, Jansen IE, Trisini-Lipsanopoulos A, Winder-Rhodes S, Tanner CM, Lang AE, Eberly S, Elbaz A, Brice A, Mangone G, Ravina B, Shoulson I, Cormier-Dequaire F, Heutink P, van Hilten JJ, Barker RA, Williams-Gray CH, Marinus J, Scherzer CR (2017), “Prediction of cognition in Parkinson's disease with a clinical-genetic score: a longitudinal analysis of nine cohorts.” Lancet Neurol. 16(8):620-9

Wijeyekoon R, Suriyakumara V, Gamage R, Fernando T, Jayasuriya A, Amarasinghe D, Gunasekara H, Sirisena D, Amaratunga D, Muthukuda C, Barker RA, Williams-Gray C, De Silva R (2017), “Associations between Lifestyle Factors and Parkinson's Disease in an Urban Sri Lankan Clinic Study. ” International archives of medicine. 10

Williams-Gray CH, Barker RA (2017), “Parkinson disease: Defining PD subtypes - a step toward personalized management?” Nature reviews Neurology. 13(8):454-5.


Barker RA, Williams-Gray CH (2016), “The spectrum of clinical features seen with alpha synuclein pathology” Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol 10.1111/nan.12303

Collins LM, Williams-Gray CH (2016), “The Genetic Basis of Cognitive Impairment and Dementia in Parkinson's Disease. ” Frontiers in psychiatry. 7:89.

Evans JR, Cummins G, Breen DP, Foltynie T, Mason SL, Brayne CE, Williams-Gray CH, Barker RA (2016), “Comparative epidemiology of incident Parkinson's disease in Cambridgeshire, UK” J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 10.1136/jnnp-2015-312581

Kuan WL, Bennett N, He X, Skepper JN, Martynyuk N, Wijeyekoon R, Moghe PV, Williams-Gray CH, Barker RA (2016), “alpha-Synuclein pre-formed fibrils impair tight junction protein expression without affecting cerebral endothelial cell function. ” Experimental neurology. 285(Pt A):72-81.

Lawson RA, Yarnall AJ, Duncan GW, Breen DP, Khoo TK, Williams-Gray CH, Barker RA, Collerton D, Taylor JP, Burn DJ, ICICLE-PD Study group. (2016), “Cognitive decline and quality of life in incident Parkinson's disease: The role of attention. ” Parkinsonism & related disorders. 27:47-53.

Liu G, Boot B, Locascio JJ, Jansen IE, Winder-Rhodes S, Eberly S, Elbaz A, Brice A, Ravina B, van Hilten JJ, Cormier-Dequaire F, Corvol JC, Barker RA, Heutink P, Marinus J, Williams-Gray CH, Scherzer CR, International Genetics of Parkinson Disease Progression Consortium (2016), “Specifically neuropathic Gaucher's mutations accelerate cognitive decline in Parkinson's. ” Annals of neurology. 80(5):674-85.

Mok KY, Sheerin U, Simon-Sanchez J, Salaka A, Chester L, Escott-Price V, Mantripragada K, Doherty KM, Noyce AJ, Mencacci NE, Lubbe SJ, International Parkinson's Disease Genomics C, Williams-Gray CH, Barker RA, van Dijk KD, Berendse HW, Heutink P, Corvol JC, Cormier F, Lesage S, Brice A, Brockmann K, Schulte C, Gasser T, Foltynie T, Limousin P, Morrison KE, Clarke CE, Sawcer S, Warner TT, Lees AJ, Morris HR, Nalls MA, Singleton AB, Hardy J, Abramov AY, Plagnol V, Williams NM, Wood NW (2016), “Deletions at 22q11.2 in idiopathic Parkinson's disease: a combined analysis of genome-wide association data.” Lancet Neurol 15(6):585-96.

Williams-Gray CH (2016), “A new biomarker for Parkinson's disease? [commentary]” Mov Disord 31(1): 42


Stephenson D, Hu MT, Romero K, Breen K, Burn D, Ben-Shlomo Y, Bhattaram A, Isaac M, Venuto C, Kubota K, Little MA, Friend S, Lovestone S, Morris HR, Grosset D, Sutherland M, Gallacher J, Williams-Gray C, Bain LJ, Aviles E, Marek K, Toga AW, Stark Y, Forrest Gordon M, Ford S (2015), “Precompetitive Data Sharing as a Catalyst to Address Unmet Needs in Parkinson's Disease” Journal of Parkinson's disease 5(3): 581-94

Williams-Gray C (2015), “Seeing Is Believing: Alpha-Synuclein Oligomers in Parkinson's Disease Brain [commentary]” Mov Disord 30(10): 1324

Winder-Rhodes SE. Barker RA, Williams-Gray CH (2015), “The pathological and prognostic heterogeneity of Mild Cognitive Impairment in Parkinson’s disease” Emre M, editor. Cognitive Impairment and Dementia in Parkinson’s Disease, 2nd Edition. Oxford University Press 223-240


Barker RA, Williams-Gray CH (2014), “Mild Cognitive Impairment and Parkinson's Disease - Something to Remember.” Journal of Parkinson's disease 4(4): 651-56

Goldman JG, Williams-Gray C, Barker RA, Duda JE, Galvin JE (2014), “The spectrum of cognitive impairment in Lewy body diseases” Mov Disord 29(5): 608-21

Moore SF, Guzman NV, Mason SL, Williams-Gray CH, Barker RA (2014), “Which Patients with Parkinson's Disease Participate in Clinical Trials? One Centre's Experiences with a New Cell Based Therapy Trial (TRANSEURO)” Journal of Parkinson's disease 4(4): 671-76

Williams-Gray CH, Mason SL, Foltynie T, Barker RA (2014), “Anti-inflammatory drugs delay the onset of dementia in an incident Parkinson's disease cohort [abstract]” Mov Disord 29(Suppl 1): 1510


Brayne C, Barker RA, Harold D, Ince PG, Savva GM, Williams J, Williams-Gray CH, Wharton SB (2013), “From molecule to clinic and community for neurodegeneration: research to bridge translational gaps.” J Alzheimers Dis 33 Suppl 1:S385-96 Details

Breen DP, Williams-Gray CH, Mason SL, Foltynie T, Barker RA (2013), “Excessive daytime sleepiness and its risk factors in incident Parkinson's disease.” J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 84(2):233-4 Details

Fallon SJ, Hampshire A, Williams-Gray CH, Barker RA, Owen AM (2013), “Putative cortical dopamine levels affect cortical recruitment during planning.” Neuropsychologia 51(11):2194-201 Details

Fallon SJ, Williams-Gray CH, Barker RA, Owen AM, Hampshire A (2013), “Prefrontal dopamine levels determine the balance between cognitive stability and flexibility.” Cereb Cortex 23(2):361-9 Details

Hudson G, Nalls M, Evans JR, Breen DP, Winder-Rhodes S, Morrison KE, Morris HR, Williams-Gray CH, Barker RA, Singleton AB, Hardy J, Wood NE, Burn DJ, Chinnery PF (2013), “Two-stage association study and meta-analysis of mitochondrial DNA variants in Parkinson disease.” Neurology 80(22):2042-8 Details

Klebe S, Golmard JL, Nalls MA, Saad M, Singleton AB, Bras JM, Hardy J, Simon-Sanchez J, Heutink P, Kuhlenbäumer G, Charfi R, Klein C, Hagenah J, Gasser T, Wurster I, Lesage S, Lorenz D, Deuschl G, Durif F, Pollak P, Damier P, Tison F, Durr A, Amouyel P, Lambert JC, Tzourio C, Maubaret C, Charbonnier-Beaupel F, Tahiri K, Vidailhet M, Martinez M, Brice A, Corvol JC, French Parkinson's Disease Genetics Study Group, International Parkinson's Disease Genomics Consortium (IPDGC) (2013), “The Val158Met COMT polymorphism is a modifier of the age at onset in Parkinson's disease with a sexual dimorphism.” J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 84(6):666-73 Details

Rittman T, Ghosh BC, McColgan P, Breen DP, Evans J, Williams-Gray CH, Barker RA, Rowe JB (2013), “The Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination for the differential diagnosis and longitudinal assessment of patients with parkinsonian disorders.” J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 84(5):544-51 Details

Williams-Gray CH, Barker RA. (2013), “The genetics of behaviour and cognition in Parkinson’s disease” In: Aarsland D, Weintraub D, Cummings J and Chaudhuri R, editors. Behavioral Problems in Parkinson's Disease & Related Movement Disorders: Cambridge University Press

Winder-Rhodes SE, Evans JR, Ban M, Mason SL, Williams-Gray CH, Foltynie T, Duran R, Mencacci NE, Sawcer SJ, Barker RA (2013), “Glucocerebrosidase mutations influence the natural history of Parkinson's disease in a community-based incident cohort.” Brain 136(Pt 2):392-9 Details


Kilarski LL, Pearson JP, Newsway V, Majounie E, Knipe MD, Misbahuddin A, Chinnery PF, Burn DJ, Clarke CE, Marion MH, Lewthwaite AJ, Nicholl DJ, Wood NW, Morrison KE, Williams-Gray CH, Evans JR, Sawcer SJ, Barker RA, Wickremaratchi MM, Ben-Shlomo Y, Williams NM, Morris HR (2012), “Systematic review and UK-based study of PARK2 (parkin), PINK1, PARK7 (DJ-1) and LRRK2 in early-onset Parkinson's disease.” Mov Disord 27(12):1522-9 Details

Litvan I, Goldman JG, Tröster AI, Schmand BA, Weintraub D, Petersen RC, Mollenhauer B, Adler CH, Marder K, Williams-Gray CH, Aarsland D, Kulisevsky J, Rodriguez-Oroz MC, Burn DJ, Barker RA, Emre M (2012), “Diagnostic criteria for mild cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease: Movement Disorder Society Task Force guidelines.” Mov Disord 27(3):349-56 Details

McColgan P, Evans JR, Breen DP, Mason SL, Barker RA, Williams-Gray CH (2012), “Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination-Revised for mild cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease.” Mov Disord 27(9):1173-7 Details

Williams-Gray CH, Mason SL (2012), “Neuropsychological features of early cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease” In: Ebmeier KP, O’Brien J, Taylor JP, editors. Psychiatry of Parkinson's disease. Advances in Biological Psychiatry. Basel: Karger Vol 27:84-102

Winder-Rhodes SE, Garcia-Reitböck P, Ban M, Evans JR, Jacques TS, Kemppinen A, Foltynie T, Williams-Gray CH, Chinnery PF, Hudson G, Burn DJ, Allcock LM, Sawcer SJ, Barker RA, Spillantini MG (2012), “Genetic and pathological links between Parkinson's disease and the lysosomal disorder Sanfilippo syndrome.” Mov Disord 27(2):312-5 Details


Evans JR, Mason SL, Williams-Gray CH, Foltynie T, Brayne C, Robbins TW, Barker RA (2011), “The natural history of treated Parkinson's disease in an incident, community based cohort.” J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry Details

Evans JR, Mason SL, Williams-Gray CH, Foltynie T, Trotter M, Barker RA (2011), “The factor structure of the UPDRS as an index of disease progression in Parkinson's disease.” J Parkinsons Dis 1(1):75-82 Details

International Parkinson Disease Genomics Consortium, Nalls MA, Plagnol V, Hernandez DG, Sharma M, Sheerin UM, Saad M, Simón-Sánchez J, Schulte C, Lesage S, Sveinbjörnsdóttir S, Stefánsson K, Martinez M, Hardy J, Heutink P, Brice A, Gasser T, Singleton AB, Wood NW (2011), “Imputation of sequence variants for identification of genetic risks for Parkinson's disease: a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies.” Lancet 377(9766):641-9 Details

International Parkinson's Disease Genomics Consortium (IPDGC), Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 (WTCCC2) (2011), “A two-stage meta-analysis identifies several new loci for Parkinson's disease.” PLoS Genet 7(6):e1002142 Details


Aarsland D, Bronnick K, Williams-Gray C, Weintraub D, Marder K, Kulisevsky J, Burn D, Barone P, Pagonabarraga J, Allcock L, Santangelo G, Foltynie T, Janvin C, Larsen JP, Barker RA, Emre M (2010), “Mild cognitive impairment in Parkinson disease: a multicenter pooled analysis.” Neurology 75(12):1062-9 Details

Hoogland J, de Bie RM, Williams-Gray CH, Muslimovi? D, Schmand B, Post B (2010), “Catechol-O-methyltransferase val158met and cognitive function in Parkinson's disease.” Mov Disord 25(15):2550-4 Details

Rowe JB, Hughes L, Williams-Gray CH, Bishop S, Fallon S, Barker RA, Owen AM (2010), “The val158met COMT polymorphism's effect on atrophy in healthy aging and Parkinson's disease.” Neurobiol Aging 31(6):1064-8 Details

Saiki M, Baker A, Williams-Gray CH, Foltynie T, Goodman RS, Taylor CJ, Compston DA, Barker RA, Sawcer SJ, Goris A (2010), “Association of the human leucocyte antigen region with susceptibility to Parkinson's disease.” J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 81(8):890-1 Details


Foltynie T, Cheeran B, Williams-Gray CH, Edwards MJ, Schneider SA, Weinberger D, Rothwell JC, Barker RA, Bhatia KP (2009), “BDNF val66met influences time to onset of levodopa induced dyskinesia in Parkinson's disease.” J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 80(2):141-4 Details

Williams-Gray C, Goris A, Foltynie T, Compston A, Sawcer S, Barker RA (2009), “No evidence for association between an MAOA functional polymorphism and susceptibility to Parkinson's disease.” J Neurol 256(1):132-3 Details

Williams-Gray CH, Goris A, Saiki M, Foltynie T, Compston DA, Sawcer SJ, Barker RA (2009), “Apolipoprotein E genotype as a risk factor for susceptibility to and dementia in Parkinson's disease.” J Neurol 256(3):493-8 Details


Rowe JB, Hughes L, Ghosh BC, Eckstein D, Williams-Gray CH, Fallon S, Barker RA, Owen AM (2008), “Parkinson's disease and dopaminergic therapy--differential effects on movement, reward and cognition.” Brain 131(Pt 8):2094-105 Details

Wedderburn C, Wear H, Brown J, Mason SJ, Barker RA, Hodges J, Williams-Gray C (2008), “The utility of the Cambridge Behavioural Inventory in neurodegenerative disease.” J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 79(5):500-3 Details


Goris A, Williams-Gray CH, Foltynie T, Brown J, Maranian M, Walton A, Compston DA, Barker RA, Sawcer SJ (2007), “Investigation of TGFB2 as a candidate gene in multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.” J Neurol 254(7):846-8 Details

Williams-Gray CH, Aliyu SH, Lever AM, Dean AF, Lennox GG (2007), “Reversible parkinsonism in a patient with progressive multifocal leucoencephalopathy.” J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 78(4):408-10 Details

Williams-Gray CH, Barker RA (2007), “Visual hallucinations predict increased benefits from rivastigmine in Parkinson's disease dementia.” Nat Clin Pract Neurol 3(5):250-1 Details


Goris A, Williams-Gray CH, Foltynie T, Compston DA, Barker RA, Sawcer SJ (2006), “No evidence for association with Parkinson disease for 13 single-nucleotide polymorphisms identified by whole-genome association screening.” Am J Hum Genet 78(6):1088-90; author reply 1092-4 Details

Michell AW, Xu Z, Fritz D, Lewis SJ, Foltynie T, Williams-Gray CH, Robbins TW, Carpenter RH, Barker RA (2006), “Saccadic latency distributions in Parkinson's disease and the effects of L-dopa.” Exp Brain Res 174(1):7-18 Details

Williams-Gray C, Barker RA, Swainson R, Robbins TW (2006), “Cognitive dysfunction in early Parkinson's disease” In: Wolters EC, Berendse H, Stam C, editors. Mental Dysfunction in Parkinson's disease III: VU University Press 109-120

Williams-Gray CH, Foltynie T, Lewis SJ, Barker RA (2006), “Cognitive deficits and psychosis in Parkinson's disease: a review of pathophysiology and therapeutic options.” CNS Drugs 20(6):477-505 Details

Williams-Gray CH, Goris A, Foltynie T, Brown J, Maranian M, Walton A, Compston DA, Sawcer SJ, Barker RA (2006), “Prevalence of the LRRK2 G2019S mutation in a UK community based idiopathic Parkinson's disease cohort.” J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 77(5):665-7 Details

Williams-Gray CH, Goris A, Foltynie T, Brown J, Maranian M, Walton A, Compston DA, Sawcer SJ, Barker RA (2006), “No alterations in alpha-synuclein gene dosage observed in sporadic Parkinson's disease.” Mov Disord 21(5):731-2 Details