Early, mid or late stage PD Clinical Trials (on PD medications)

Have you been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease for less than 5 years and currently taking rasagiline (Azilect) or selegiline as your only treatment for PD?

Recent studies show that the study drug piaglitazone, currently used to treat Type II diabetes, may protect nerve cells in various ways. The purpose of this study is to determine if the study drug is safe and well tolerated in patients with Parkinson’s disease and explore any effects on thinking abilities.

Participation Requirements
Participation in this study will include at least six clinic visits and one telephone visit over 48 weeks. The study drug or a placebo will be taken for 44 weeks. A placebo is a pill that looks like the study drug but has no active medicine in it. To qualify for this study, you must have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease within the last five years and be currently taking either rasagiline or selegiline as your only treatment for PD for less than 8 months. If you have a diagnosis of Type I or II diabetes you will not be eligible to participate. Eligible participants will receive study-related evaluations, laboratory tests, and the investigational drug at no cost. Julie Carter is the investigator for this study.

For more information, please contact Andy Fraser at 503-418-4387 or . IRB# 7084


Do you have Parkinson’s disease and balance difficulties?

Previous research has found that donepezil can improve balance and fall risk in Parkinson's patients.  The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of donepezil on improving balance in Parkinson's patients.

Participation Requirements
Participation in this study includes a total of 4 clinical visits to OHSU for testing.  We are looking for patients who have been diagnosed with Idiopathic Parkinson's disease, have been treated with levodopa for at least one year, and have difficulty with balance and falls.  Exclusion criteria includes having any other medical conditions other than PD that may affect balance or gait, are unable to stand unassisted for at least 30 minutes, patients who are currently taking an anticolinergic or drugs with known anticholinergic properties.  This study involves taking the study drug or placebo for 6 weeks, a 4 week washout period, and then another 6 week period where the subject will either be given the study drug or the placebo.  Between each phase, participants will be required to come to OHSU for balance testing and evaluation.

. IRB# 7363

The effects of Vitamin D on balance in PD

The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of vitamin D on balance in Parkinson’s disease patients.

Participation Requirements
This study involves a total of six visits to the Portland VA Medical Center and/or Oregon Health & Science University and lasts 16 weeks. You must be able to walk 50 feet without the use of a cane or other walking device. You must be between the ages of 50 and 75, and have no history of renal stones, hypercalcaemia, or balance problems. You must not be taking another type of vitamin D supplement. You will have tests of your thinking and memory, questionnaires about your balance, neurological examinations, tests of balance and strength, and diaries of near falls and falls. You will be taking calcium supplementation and either vitamin D or a sugar pill for 16 weeks. You will be compensated $10.00 for each visit you complete for a total of $60.00.

For more information on how to participate, please contact Brenna Lobb, MS, Study Coordinator, at (503) 220-8262 extension 51871 or by mail at 3710 SW US Veterans Road, Portland, Oregon 97239. VA IRB# 2393