Clinical trials depend on volunteer participation to help answer questions about the cause(s) of diseases, the source for a cure and to find new treatments. Participants of all types are needed in clinical trials. People in all stages of the disease, as well as healthy people who've not been diagnosed can all make important contributions. Choosing to participate in a clinical trial is an important personal decision. Participants need to educate themselves and ask many questions before enrolling in a trial. Additionally, it is often helpful to talk to a physician, family members and friends about deciding whether or not to participate a research trial.
Although there are many definitions of clinical trials, they are generally considered to be bio-medical or health-related research studies in human beings that follow a pre-defined protocol. Clinical research includes both interventional and observational types of studies. Interventional studies are those in which the research subjects are assigned by the investigator to a treatment or other intervention (for example a medication or exercise), and their outcomes are measured. Observational studies are those in which individuals are observed and their outcomes are measured by the investigators.
Participants in clinical trials can play a more active role in their own health care, gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available, and help others by contributing to medical research. Here are some resources to help with the decision-making process.
Research into different aspects of Parkinson's disease (and caring for people with Parkinson's disease) takes place on both a regional and national level. To find out more about research taking place and recruiting participants, click on the links below.
National Parkinson's Disease Research
The National Institutes of Health's ClinicalTrials.gov website includes an "Introduction to Clinical Trials" with helpful questions and answers about clinical trial participation. Selected Q & As from this website are shown below.
To find clinical trials for Parkinson's disease that are currently enrolling subjects, visit PDtrials.org - specifically for Parkinson's disease trials or ClinicalTrials.gov - a clinical trial registry for all conditions and diseases.
The Fox Trial Finder is a user friendly tool that connects volunteers with Parkinson's disease clinical trials. For more information on The Fox Trial Finder, visit foxtrialfinder.michaeljfox.org