The coronavirus pandemic has upended many aspects of our lives, but Parkinson’s research moves forward with the support of volunteers, donors, scientists and study teams. Participating in research is critical to advancing new treatments and cures for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). In this latest research roundup blog, we share four clinical studies in need of volunteers.
To learn about the COVID-19 safety precautions each study site is implementing, please contact them directly. Links can be found below.
Observational Study Exploring Parkinson’s Over Time
- Sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation, the landmark Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) follows participants over time to better understand changes linked to Parkinson’s risk, onset and progression. This information could lead to new therapies to prevent and treat Parkinson’s disease. Currently, some PPMI sites are recruiting people diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the past two years — find contact information and see which sites are recruiting. PPMI is also looking for parents, siblings and children of people with Parkinson’s. Take a short survey to see if you are eligible at michaeljfox.org/ppmisurvey.
Trials Testing Therapies to Treat Parkinson’s Symptoms
- Pharma Two B is leading a 12-week Phase III study testing P2B001, an investigational drug that combines two approved Parkinson’s medications. P2B001 contains low doses of dopamine agonist pramipexole, the generic of Mirapex, paired with MAO-B inhibitor rasagiline, the generic of Azilect. (Read more about generic drugs.) The two drugs function in different ways — dopamine agonists mimic the effect of dopamine while MAO-B inhibitors block an enzyme that breaks down dopamine, allowing it to function for longer. Scientists believe the drugs in low doses may work together to be more effective in reducing Parkinson’s symptoms. The study is recruiting 525 people diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the past three years at 76 locations throughout the U.S., Canada, Germany and Spain. Learn more and find contact information here.
- Medtronic is leading a study to test a new feature of their approved Percept deep brain stimulation (DBS) device. (Learn about DBS and Percept.) This feature, called adaptive deep brain stimulation, allows the device to make automatic adjustments based on the symptoms a person is experiencing to help movement with fewer side effects. Sites in California and Massachusetts are recruiting people with PD who have the Percect DBS, and 10 more sites will open over the next year. Learn more here.
Trial Targeting a Key Protein to Slow Parkinson’s
- The alpha-synuclein protein misfolds to form toxic clumps in the brain cells of people with Parkinson’s. Led by the biopharmaceutical company UCB, the Orchestra study is testing whether an investigational drug, UCB0599, can slow Parkinson’s progression by targeting alpha-synuclein and preventing it from clumping in the brain. They are recruiting 300 people diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the past two years at seven sites across the United States. Learn more and find contact information here.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation is grateful to all study participants contributing to Parkinson’s research. “Cures aren’t going to fall from the sky. We have to climb up and get them,” said Michael J. Fox.