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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:

A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Fixed-Dose Study of SD-809 (Deutetrabenazine) for the Treatment of Moderate to Severe Tardive Dyskinesia

Subjects are enrolled in a 13-week study (12-week study period with 1-week of washout) evaluating the efficacy, safety and tolerability of a novel treatment for moderate to severe tardive dyskinesia (TD). This study involves three randomized fixed doses of deutetrabenazine and a placebo group. Subjects who successfully complete this double-blind study may be eligible to participate in an additional two year open-label safety study.

Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria:
Eligible patients must be between 18 and 75 years of age; have at least a 3 month history (or 1 month history if 60 years or older) of using a dopamine receptor antagonist including a first or second generation neuroleptic agent or certain gastrointestinal medications such as Reglan (metoclopramide); and have a clinical diagnosis of TD with symptoms for at least 3 months.

Contact: Lauren Anderson – 617-667-9890,

Transcranial Stimulation for Essential Tremor

The purpose of this study is to learn more about brain changes in people with essential tremor using noninvasive brain stimulation (transcranial magnetic stimulation) and brain imaging. The study will involve participating in several study visits taking place at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and one visit at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Study visits include a neurological history and exam, MRI exam, measuring tremor using noninvasive sensors and applying noninvasive brain stimulation. Parking will be compensated.  Healthy control subjects will receive a maximum of $100 for the completion of all study visits and subjects with tremor will receive a maximum of $200 for completion of all visits.

If you are interested, please contact Christine Ashton - or 617-667-4746

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients with essential tremor and healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 75.
  • Individuals who are not pregnant and do not have medical devices or metal in the body which are not MRI-compatible.

Dystonia Coalition

The Dystonia Coalition is an international collaboration of medical researchers and patient advocacy groups with a mission to advance the pace of clinical and translational research in the dystonias to find better treatments and a cure. To participate you must be at least 18 years old and be diagnosed with one of the following primary dystonias: Focal dystonia including cranial dystonia/Meige Syndrome (including blepharospasm), jaw or tongue dystonia, laryngeal dystonia (including spasmodic dysphonia) with diagnosis confirmed by nasolaryngoscopy, cervical dystonia (spasmodic torticollis), limb dystonia (including writer’s cramp and musician’s dystonia), Segmental Dystonia, Generalized Dystonia, or Hemi-Dystonia. Your last injection of botulinum toxin should be at least 2 months prior to study visit and you must not have evidence of a secondary cause for dystonia. During the study visit you will answer some questionnaires about your medical and family history, have a neurological exam that will be videotaped, and donate about 4 tablespoons of blood. The entire visit takes about 60-90 minutes and you will receive free parking for your visit.  

If you are interested, please contact Christine Ashton - or 617-667-4746

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 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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