Last month, hundreds of Parkinsonís disease (PD) advocates descended on Grand Rapids, Michigan for a one-of-a-kind patient-centered meeting focused on how people with PD can be meaningful partners in the clinical trial process. †All part of the larger Grand Challenges in Parkinsonís Disease Symposium, the Rallying to the Challenge breakout group brought patients face-to-face with nearly 250 PD researchers and some of the worldís leading PD organizations to talk about the biggest barriers to volunteer involvement in clinical research, and how to knock them down. †
At present, 85 percent of trials face delays and 30 percent never even get off the ground because of a lack of volunteers.† Whatís more, of the 60 percent of Parkinsonís patients who say they are willing to participate in a clinical trial, only about 10 percent actually do.†
Determined to improve these odds, the Rallying to the Challenge group focused their attention on addressing the many misconceptions of clinical trial participation, improving communication between volunteers and study teams, and increasing the publicís awareness of the trial opportunities†available to them.
ďWe must make patient involvement†the rule, not the exception,Ē urged Tom Isaacs, co-founder of the Cure Parkinsonís Trust, a UK-based Parkinsonís research organization responsible for organizing the symposium.