Clinical trials are an important part of learning how to prevent, diagnosis, treat, and manage diseases such as Parkinson's disease. A clinical trial is a biomedical or health-related study with humans. They are the next step after scientists complete successful studies in the laboratory.

Clinical Trials for Parkinson's Disease

According to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Parkinson's disease clinical trials serve several purposes. They are a way to test new drugs and interventions. For example, there is a trial evaluating the medication pioglitazone in treating early Parkinson's disease.

Observational trials help clinicians better understand how the disease progresses and how the environment may influence genetics. Studies evaluating the effects of vitamin D and bone loss in patients with Parkinson's disease, and the possible role and interaction of diet, lifestyle, and genes, are two examples of observational studies now underway. Some clinical trials explore the use of non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as acupuncture or exercise, to help patients cope with their disease.

Fewer than 10 percent of patients with Parkinson's disease ever enroll in a clinical trial, and many trials finish late due to lack of enrollment. The good news, however, is that more than 80 percent of Parkinson's disease patients are interested in participating in a clinical trial, but just don't know where to find a trial or how to enroll.

Find a Parkinson's Clinical Trial

Interested in learning more? Start by talking with your physician to see if there is a trial you may be eligible for. The Internet also makes it easy to find clinical trials for Parkinson's disease.

Fox Trial Founder (FTF). In addition to listing trials, the Fox Trial Finder connects volunteers (patients and healthy individuals) with clinical trials online. The Michael J. Fox Foundation launched Fox Trial Finder 2012 and it lists over 170 clinical trials. You can register as a volunteer and FTF will notify you if a new trial might be a match based on your profile. is the government clearinghouse for clinical trials. It lists all government-sponsored clinical trials, including those still recruiting participants and those already complete. Currently, there are more than 300 open clinical trials for Parkinson's disease. is a registry to bring together volunteers who want to learn more about research with researchers who need them.

If you have Parkinson's disease (or someone you care about does), you can make a difference by participating in a clinical trial.


The Michael J. Fox Foundation For Clinical Research. "Clinical Trial Participation." Web.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation For Clinical Research. "Fox Trial Finder." Web.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation For Clinical Research. "Why Clinical Trials?" Web.

Lowry, Fran. "Fox Trial Finder Matches Parkinson's Patients With Trials." Medscape Medical News. Web. 6 July 2012. "Parkinson's Genes and Environment Study." Web. 28 June 2012.

National Institutes of Health. "NIH Clinical Research Trials and You." Web. Web.