“The more people that participate in clinical trials, the better chance we have of curing this disease”, says 68 year old Patrick Ramsey from Clay Center, Kansas.
A veteran of the Vietnam War, Patrick was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2007. He wasted no time involving himself in a clinical trial studying the efficacy of a speech therapy called LSVT LOUD. This trial tested the effectiveness of the LSVT Theory, a therapy used to improve the voice quality, initiation and vocal loudness of individuals with Parkinson’s. Patrick only has positive things to say about his experience with this trial, noting that his voice quality has significantly improved.
Although he’s had to adjust to using his left hand as opposed to his more dominant right hand because of his tremor, Patrick says he lives his life the way he would had he not been diagnosed with PD. In addition to working as a park ranger in the Grand Canyon, Patrick makes sure to exercise regularly (yoga and Pilates are among his favorites) to help alleviate his PD symptoms. He also participates in fundraising events supporting Parkinson's disease research and has written a book, Memoirs of a Rotor Head.
Patrick is also an advocate for The Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), a clinical study sponsored by MJFF, telling all his friends who are over 60 and do not have PD to get involved by taking a brief online smell survey.
He knows there is a possibility that PD trials being conducted today may benefit future Parkinson’s patients and not him personally. Even so, he says, “That is incentive enough to keep participating in trials and I urge everyone else, whether you’re a PD patient or not, to do the same.”
Sign up today at www.foxtrialfinder.org to find out how you can help drive clinical research.
To take the PPMI smell survey, visit www.michaeljfox.org/takethesmellsurvey.
Ashleigh Levett is MJFF's Marketing and Communications Intern.