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“Help Cure Parkinson’s Disease: Please Don’t Waste the Golden Year”

People in a clinic

“This isn’t a solicitation for a financial donation. But I am going to ask for something very valuable. It is in short supply and critical to our getting an approved therapy to slow progression of Parkinson’s disease (PD), and ultimately to reaching our shared goal of getting to a cure.

The critical time of about one year from when the patient can be diagnosed with early PD ... until they truly require symptomatic therapy can be considered their ‘Golden Year’ for participation in disease-modifying clinical trials. It is critical that care providers and patients don’t unknowingly waste this golden year.”

Robert A. Hauser, MD, Director of the Signature Interdisciplinary Clinical Research Program in Neuroscience at the University of South Florida, delivers this request in his notable 2018 paper published in Nature Partner Journals Parkinson’s Disease. The “Golden Year” is such because it allows scientists to learn about the disease or test the impact of new therapies before medications alter results.

Read more of this paper on pages 8-9 in our Fox Focus on Parkinson’s: PPMI Special Edition newsletter.

Today, many research studies are recruiting people recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s and not yet taking PD medication. Here, we highlight some of them.

  • The Study that Could Change Everything: Our landmark Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) has a special need for people aged 30 and up diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the past two years and not yet taking PD medication. Volunteers contribute valuable data over time to help scientists plot disease biology and experience, from the earliest signs of Parkinson’s through its later stages.

    If you're in the U.S. or Canada, call 877-525-PPMI or email to learn more and get started today. In another country? Reach out to a site near you to learn more.

    Anyone over age 18 in the U.S. — with PD, at any stage, or without — can join the online part of PPMI. Get started today.
  • A Trial Testing a Protein Inhibitor: The PROSEEK trial is testing a therapy in people with early PD. K0706 is an experimental treatment that suppresses the c-Abl protein. Higher levels of c-Abl are associated with Parkinson's and may contribute to the disease.

    This Phase II trial is led by Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company (SPARC). Sites across the U.S., Hungary, India, Poland, Slovakia and Spain are recruiting people aged 50 and up diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the past three years and not yet taking PD medication. Learn more and contact a site near you.
  • A Study Testing the Impact of Exercise: Many people with Parkinson’s tell us that exercise helps ease symptoms. Some research suggests it may even slow disease progression. A Phase III study led by a Northwestern University research team is testing the impact of exercise — specifically endurance activity on the treadmill — on Parkinson’s symptoms and progression.

    The study is recruiting 370 people diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the past three years at more than 20 sites across the U.S. and Canada. Learn more and contact a site near you.

Recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s and looking for resources that can help? Download a guide, watch a video or read tips on our website. You may also want to sign up for the Parkinson’s Buddy Network, our online platform where you can connect with others in the community.

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This resource is brought to you with support from SPARC. Partner support allows us to furnish high-quality educational content to the Parkinson’s community while maintaining our commitment to allocate donor dollars to high-impact research. The Michael J. Fox Foundation is solely responsible for this content.
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