Parkinson's Clinical Trial Companion Navigating Clinical Trials - Page 21

Chapter 2 Research Participation throughout Your Parkinson’s Journey As life with Parkinson’s unfolds, options for research participation evolve with it. Wherever you are with Parkinson’s, you can contribute. If you’re newly diagnosed and haven’t yet started medication, you may be eligible to participate in trials testing therapies to slow disease progression. Or, if you’ve tried a number of Parkinson’s disease (PD) drugs over the years, investigators may be seeking people like you to study how to improve upon existing therapies. If you have dyskinesia, imbalance or memory problems, you may be able to advance new treatments for these symptoms. Hundreds of Parkinson’s studies are under way right now and all of them need volunteers with PD. Some focus on ways to diagnose PD, others on treatments for unmet needs — difficulties, such as falls and dementia, for which there are few approved medical strategies. Still others test novel drugs with the potential to modify the course of disease. In-person and online studies offer people with wide-ranging symptoms and medication regimens the chance to become more engaged in their own care and with the Parkinson’s community. You can join at any time. Some people connect with a variety of studies throughout the course of their PD. No matter when you volunteer, or why, research participation is a way to actively pursue answers. Most people find it to be part of an empowering and rewarding experience. Research on every step of PD is meaningful. This chapter describes what types of clinical trials and studies are available at different points in your Parkinson’s and why each is critical. Chapter 2 — Research Participation throughout Your Parkinson’s Journey 19