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Research and Clinical Trials

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Clinical Trials Offer Hope and Guide Treatment Plans

Medical advances in the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson's Disease (PD) offer hope to patients and families while also guiding the treatment plans developed by our team of PD specialists. That's why we actively participate in multi-center clinical trials evaluating new treatments for PD.

  • We are members of the Parkinson Study Group, a national consortium of PD centers which carries out multi-center clinical trails of new medications for the treatment of PD.
  • We participate in several other leading-edge clinical research studies of new medications for PD.
  • We are actively participating in a National Institutes of Health initiative to identify therapies that may slow the progression of PD.
  • We are a National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence, which provides us with access to funding for clinical research, community outreach, and educational projects.

Current Research Studies Available

We are currently recruiting for the following research studies:
[ Contact Information]

Testing a New Sensor System for Assessing Movements

This study is testing a new device which is a wireless electronic sensor worn on the forearms. It is designed to help neurologists assess motor symptoms of patients with PD. You may be eligible for this study if you have been diagnosed with PD, you are taking carbidopa-levodopa, and you experience on/off periods during the day.

Evaluating a New Treatment for Drooling in Subjects with Parkinson's Disease and ALS

The treatment involves injections of a new preparation of botulinum toxin (botox) into the salivary glands to reduce drooling. If you are interested in participating, please call Dr. Pushpa Narayanaswami at 617-667-4382 or 617-667-8130.

Biomarker Development in Parkinson's Disease

We are interested in developing a new way to diagnose and monitor Parkinson's disease by looking at nerve fibers in the skin. This research may ultimately allow us to more quickly evaluate new therapies for Parkinson's disease. The study will involve an initial visit and 2 follow up visits over 2 years (3 visits total), and would involve a neurologic examination, monitoring of blood pressure and heart rate, sweat testing a blood draw and 4 small skin biopsies. Compensation for parking and time is available.

If you are interested in learning more about this project, please contact Sarah Ballatori at the Autonomic and Peripheral Nerve Laboratory: 617-632-0648.

Magnetic Stimulation for the Treatment of Motor and Mood Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

We are investigating the use of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), a method of noninvasive brain stimulation, in the treatment of the motor and mood symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Patients diagnosed with Parkinson's disease who suffer from mood symptoms (depression) may be eligible. For more information, please contact Zachary Gray at 617-667-0226.

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) to Improve Cognitive, Mood, and Motor Function in Parkinson's disease

We are investigating the use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a method of noninvasive brain stimulation, as an additional therapy in Parkinson's disease. Patients who have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and who are over the age of 40 may be eligible. For more information, please contact Zachary Gray at 617-667-0226.

Determine Your Eligibility and Ask Questions

To determine your eligibility and ask any questions you may have, please contact Althea Silver, RN, BSN, MPH at or 617-667-9885. There is no cost to you for study visits or study-related care.

Contact Information

Althea Silver, MPH, BSN, RN, Research Coordinator
Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Clinic
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Shapiro Clinical Center, 809D
330 Brookline Ave
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-667-9885 

Contact Information

Althea Silver, MPH, BSN, RN
Department of Neurology
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Shapiro 809D
330 Brookline Ave
Boston, MA 02215

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