Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson's Disease

Clinical Trials

Parkinson’s disease currently affects about 80,000 Australians. Even modest therapeutic advances that delay disease onset and progression could significantly reduce the burden of the disease on patients and the level of care required.

The goal of clinical trials is to bring advanced treatments and breakthrough therapies to the community. By participating in a clinical trial, you help improve our community’s access to cutting-edge medicine. We are currently recruiting for the following clinical trials for Parkinson’s Disease. If you are interested in taking part, please complete the form indicating which trial you are interested in and we will be in touch.

Current Clinical Trials

To see more detail about each clinical trial, including criteria for participation and details about what is involved, please select the relevant project tab.

  • Physiotherapy to improve physical activity in Parkinson's disease
  • Melatonin for Insomnia in Parkinson's disease
  • Using a clinically approved drug to block chronic inflammation in Parkinson’s disease
Project TitlePhysiotherapy to improve physical activity in Parkinson's disease
About the ProjectA physiotherapy exercise program with a self-management approach to improve physical activity in people with mild-moderate Parkinson’s disease.
Project AimsThis project aims to assist people with PD to improve their physical activity levels and importantly maintain them, by trialling a new intervention of physiotherapy group sessions that combine exercise, self-monitoring with armbands and the self-management skills needed to improve their physical activity levels.
Why do the study?This project will give Parkinson’s patients a program to slow the progress of their disease and maintain their physical function.
Participating in the Study – Eligibility Criteria
  • Within driving distance of the Wesley Hospital.
  • Between 18 – 70
About the study – when how long, what is involved etc

The intervention participants are required to attend group exercise sessions run by a physiotherapist and advice to help monitor and continue physical activity, including The Wesley Hospital over a 4-week period.

Each participant will be given a Garmin VivoSmart monitoring device, enabling participants to measure their own performance via a mobile application, while providing physiotherapists with accurate data to track activity outside training sessions.

A portion of each exercise session will involve training in motivational coaching, guiding participants through the process of setting short- and long-term goals, as well as formulating action plans and coping strategies.

Project TitleMelatonin for Insomnia in Parkinson's disease
About the ResearchApproximately two-thirds of people with Parkinson’s Disease experience one or more sleep-related symptoms, with insomnia being the most common.
Project Aims

This study aims to find out whether melatonin can assist people with Parkinson’s Disease to get better sleep.

Studies in other conditions show that melatonin can increase sleep efficiency, decrease night-time awakenings, and may be particularly effective to help people get to sleep.

Why participate?You will find out if melatonin helps you by improving your ability to get to sleep, how long you sleep for and the quality of your sleep. At the end of your time on the study, a detailed and individual report about whether the melatonin worked for you will be given to your doctor to discuss with you. You will help others by assisting us to determine if melatonin should be included in treatment plans for people with Parkinson’s Disease who are having trouble sleeping.
Participating in the Study – Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for this study people must be: 

  • Aged over 30 years.
  • Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease by a neurologist.
  • Experiencing sleep difficulties, particularly getting to sleep.
  • If you are already on melatonin, you can still join the study. Please note that all patients will require a referral from their doctor (GP or neurologist) to participate.
  • This study is available Australia-wide.
About the study – when, how long, what is involved etc

This study involves two phases:

Phase 1 involves answering a questionnaire, education about treatment, and recording sleeping patterns in a sleep diary for two weeks.

Phase 2 involves testing medication effectiveness for 12 weeks. During this period, you will be given both melatonin or a placebo, in blocks of two weeks each, and random order.

  • You will need to wear a special watch that monitors movement to detect when you are asleep and awake.
  • During the trial, you will complete a short daily sleep diary which can be completed online or on paper.
  • There will be weekly phone calls with the research assistant to track your progress and address any queries.
  • After the study, an individual report will be sent to your doctor on whether melatonin helped your sleep.
  • You and your doctor can then decide whether you should continue melatonin.
Project TitleUsing a clinically approved drug to block chronic inflammation in Parkinson’s disease.
About the ProjectA biomarker study investigation inflammatory markers in Parkinson’s disease which may lead to potential diagnostic markers used in clinical assessment.
Project Aims

The research is focused on the inflammation of immune cells in the brain. In Parkinson's disease, these immune cells can become chronically activated.

This constant activation leads to a state of persistent inflammation in the brain, which can contribute to the gradual death of brain cells resulting in disease progression.

Thus targeting this inflammation could prevent the progression of Parkinson’s disease and may even improve symptoms.

Why participate?

Your samples will help will us better understand the medical condition of Parkinson’s disease.

Healthy volunteers are vital to this study as their samples are used as comparators to the samples collected from Parkinson’s patients.

Participating in the Study – Eligibility CriteriaEither healthy volunteers (can have a stable medical condition) or people with Parkinson’s disease aged over 18 years of age.
About the study – when, how long, what is involved etc

The study is recruiting now. Visits are conducted at the University Queensland Centre for Clinical Research at Herston.

It is a single visit which takes around 45 minutes. Assistance with parking can be provided.

Staff collect a brief health history and body fluid samples specifically, blood, saliva and urine.

Register your interest in participating in one of our clinical trials:

  • We regularly update our community on the work we’re doing via newsletters, host events where our researchers can present their latest findings and conduct fundraising appeals to support our crucial research programs.

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