Parkinson's Clinical Trial Companion Navigating Clinical Trials - Page 19

Cures Won’t Happen Without Research I could not practice medicine without doing research. I see people who have had Parkinson’s disease for 20 or 30 years as they deal with the limitations and complications of current therapies. I w ant to be part of the process of making it better for patients in the future, and that march forward to a place where people don’t ever have to have Parkinson’s. That’s what people with Parkinson’s want: a cure. And we are getting there — I am so optimistic — but it’s not going to happen without research and volunteers. I tell people, there’s a comfort level for everybody — an observational study or an intervention trial, however you’re comfortable. Do you want to be part of a Phase II trial with a lumbar puncture? Maybe yes; maybe no. Do you want to fill out a form so we can look at some environmental interactions? Why not? There’s a comfort level for everyone. And every level of participation is informative. The clinical trials of new therapies are obviously important, but clinical observations can be critical. The little stuff matters, too. People have different motivations for enrolling in research. I go back and forth with one of my patients: Is research participation altruistic or selfish? It can be self-serving, but you’re also helping everybody. It is one of the few times in life when you can be selfish and altruistic at the same time. How often can you say that? Dr. Susan Bressman is the Mirken Chair and professor of neurology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Watch more of Susan’s story at s e i l i m a F d n a 2 s — t n e Research i t a P s ’ n o Participation s n i k r a P r o f Chapter e throughout d i u G A 1 — : s l Your a Clinical i r T l Parkinson’s a c i n Research i l C g n i t Journey a Basics g i v a N Chapter 17 7 1