On February 22, 150 Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients and their loved ones descended on Chattanooga, TN for the Southeast Clinical Trials Fair presented by The Michael J. Fox Foundation and Fox Trial Finder. The fourth event of its kind, the fair brought Parkinson’s community members from the surrounding Atlanta, Birmingham, and Nashville metro areas (and beyond!) together for a day of information sharing about the myriad opportunities to get involved in PD research locally.
Research teams from Emory University, Vanderbilt University, and University of Alabama at Birmingham came out in force, exhibiting close to 20 PD clinical studies that need volunteers. Connections abounded as guests circulated the trial exhibition room, asked questions the researchers present, and indicated their willingness to participate in trials.
“I think it was a terrific event,” said David G. Standaert, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Neurology at University of Alabama at Birmingham. “It was great to see patients from the Southeast turn out and get a chance to learn about the many opportunities for clinical trials right in their own backyards.”
In parallel to the trial exhibition, the fair also offered two expert panel presentations, attended by the investigators, coordinators, and patients on the frontlines of PD research. Peggy Willocks, a veteran clinical trial participant and boisterous PD research advocate, shared her story:
“My doctor has been observing my symptoms for 20 years. When I was first diagnosed, I wanted a second opinion, then a third opinion. I went to a movement disorder specialist at Emory in Atlanta. When Emory said the same thing as my local neurologist, I was devastated. But I said, ‘I’m not going to let this disease beat me.’ And so in August of 2000, I became the second person in the world to have retinal cells from an eye donor transplanted into my brain.”
There are all kinds of PD clinical trials that need research volunteers. To learn more about getting involved in the trials in your area that need volunteers like you, sign up for Fox Trial Finder today.
And save the date for our next Clinical Trials Fair coming to Houston, Texas on April 5th.