Parkinson’s Disease Clinical Research
Did you know that there are clinical trials being conducted for Parkinson’s disease? Parkinson’s disease, or PD, is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that occurs when an individual’s brain gradually stops producing dopamine. Our research team is working collaboratively with others around the country to help improve the treatments and therapies available for Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease may not be as common as heart disease or cancer, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has ranked complications from Parkinson’s as the 14th highest cause of death in our country.
Parkinson’s in and of itself, however, is not fatal.
A Progressive Neurological Disease That Starts Slowly
Parkinson’s disease progresses slowly in most people– symptoms can take years to be noticeable. The slowing of the person’s dopamine production is gradual, but as it progresses, the individual will have less and less of an ability to regulate their:
Even though there is unfortunately not yet a cure for Parkinson’s, being aware of early symptoms can help you detect the disease in its beginning stages. This can allow you (or the loved one in whom you’ve noticed the symptoms) seek treatments that can help slow the disease’s progression and manage its effects.
Early symptoms vary from person to person, but sometimes constipation occurs years before any of the person’s motor skills are impacted. Other early signs, such as the slightest tremors, usually start on one side of the body and often go unnoticed at first. Studies have shown that these symptoms will likely remain worse on that side forever, even after they have manifested on both sides.
The Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
Though slow to develop, the symptoms of Parkinson’s are physically rough and emotionally draining.
The main signs and symptoms often include:
- Tremors: Perhaps the best-known symptom of this neurodegenerative disorder is the infamous tremor, or shaking. Typically it begins in the hand or fingers, sometimes a different limb.
- The pin-rolling tremor is the back-and-forth rubbing of the thumb and forefinger
- Another common tremor is a hand that shakes when at rest
- Reduced automatic movements: As an individual’s Parkinson’s progresses, their unconscious everyday movements will decrease. These include:
- Swinging their arms while walking
- Bradykinesia: This refers to slowed movements, another common symptom of Parkinson’s disease. Tasks like walking or getting out of a chair may become difficult.
- Muscle rigidity or stiffness
- Worsened posture and balance
- Speech changes: Having Parkinson’s disease may cause a person to:
- Hesitate before expressing a thought
- Slow down their rate of speech
- Speak more rapidly
- Develop an uncharacteristic monotone and abandon their typical inflections
- Slur their words
- Writing changes: Since a person with Parkinson’s disease has decreased motor skills, it becomes harder for them to write. In some cases, their writing turns out smaller than their handwriting once was.
How Does Parkinson’s Impact Your Lifestyle & Family?
This chronic disease can be devastating not only for the individuals who have been diagnosed, but also for the family members who witness the tremors, worry about their loved one, and suffer with him or her. (Although more often “him,” since men are 1.5 times more likely than women to have Parkinson’s.)
The incidence of Parkinson’s increases with age, but an estimated four percent of people are diagnosed before age 50. These cases can be even harder, since younger people are more likely to be shocked by their diagnoses. Moreover, the younger a person is at their onset of Parkinson’s, the likelier they are to still have:
- A career
- Financially dependant children
- Other serious commitments and obligations
It is never easy to receive a Parkinson’s diagnosis or see it happen to someone you love. Older people are concerned about the extra potential burden on their adult children, younger people encounter career stressors, and people of any age feel a lessened sense of independence and control. All of those feelings are perfectly normal; if you have them, you are far from alone.
Can Parkinson’s Disease be Cured?
Unfortunately, there is not yet a cure for Parkinson’s disease. That’s one of the many reasons we’re conducting clinical trials here at Avail. In the meanwhile, we are also striving to find newer, better treatment options and ways to make the illness more bearable.
Parkinson’s Disease Clinical Trials in DeLand, Florida
Though we don’t yet have a cure, the team here at Avail Clinical Research believes that a Parkinson’s free future is possible.
In order to make Parkinson’s disease a thing of that past, we need research volunteers for upcoming clinical trials here in DeLand, FL. If this is an opportunity that you are interested in, our skilled team of doctors and nurses is available to answer any of your questions and help get you enrolled in the right research study. If you provide us with your name, email and phone number (using the short form on this page), one of our staff members will contact you.
Haven’t ever participated in a clinical trial? We understand that you probably have a number of questions and we’re here to answer all of them. In the meantime, we invite you to visit our clinical study participant’s section, too. This has plenty of great information about what it’s like to be in a clinical trial here at our facility.
Qualified participants are eligible to receive compensation for their involvement in one of our Florida clinical trials. They’ll also gain access to premium healthcare and study-related medication free of charge.
We conduct studies on a variety of other medical conditions at our state-of-the-art facility here in DeLand. Plus, you don’t actually have to be living with a medical condition like Parkinson’s in order to qualify for a clinical trial; we often need healthy volunteers too! If you are interested in helping us advance modern medicine or to take a more active role in your healthcare, please give us a call today at (386) 785-2400.