Research & Clinical Trials

Research volunteers needed for a study on movement initiation in Parkinson’s disease 

The University of Minnesota is seeking volunteers to participate in a research study examining how cues are used to improve the initiation of walking in people with Parkinson’s Disease.

If you are from 21 to 75 years of age, and have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, we invite you to contact the University of Minnesota with your interest in the study. Participants are eligible to receive compensation of $150 for your time and inconvenience during participation in the study. You will also be reimbursed for all of your travel expenses.

This study is being conducted by faculty in the Departments of Neurology and Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota and is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

If you are interested in learning more about the study or want to find out if you qualify for participation, please call or email:

Jackie Vachon, M.S., L.P.C.
Research Coordinator
Department of Neurology
University of Minnesota Medical School
Tel: (612) 626-8052
E-Mail: jmvachon@umn.edu

U of M named clinical trial site

Fox Trailer

The University of Minnesota is a clinical site for BioFIND, a multi-site study exclusively focused on discovering new Parkinson’s disease (PD) biomarkers. Biomarkers are critical to accelerating the development of disease-modifying therapies that can transform patients’ lives.

Currently, Parkinson’s patients only have treatments that temporarily alleviate symptoms of the disease. BioFIND seeks to discover new PD biomarkers, tools that are crucial for researchers to develop disease-modifying therapies that can slow or stop disease progression.

BioFIND can’t get started without volunteers.  The study seeks men and women over 55 years old who have had PD for at least five years, as well as control volunteers who do not have PD or a first-degree blood relative with PD.  The University of Minnesota is one of five study sites that are looking for these volunteers.

Those who participate in BioFIND will visit the site twice in a two-week period. On the first visit they will undergo clinical assessments and take written surveys. The second visit includes a few additional clinical tests, as well as a blood draw and a lumbar puncture. Participants’ health will be closely monitored by experienced doctors and nurses throughout the study.

Volunteers will be compensated for travel and time in the study, and their privacy will be closely guarded. Most importantly, they will have the personal satisfaction of being part of a study that could help speed a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

BioFIND is sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and funded in part by The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

For more information about BioFIND at the University of Minnesota, contact the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit at 612.624.7745 or cnru@umn.edu.

Clinical Reseach in Fargo

SanfordHealth in Fargo is conducting a research study to test an investigational medication aimed at improving the symptoms of patients with moderate to severe Parkinson’s disease.  The clinic has 200 patients enrolled and need a total of 450 patients with moderate-to-severe Parkinson’s disease to participate in this study.

What is the Purpose of this Clinical Research Study? This study will test the safety and effectiveness of an investigational medication when it is used together with levodopa (L-dopa) for people with moderate to severe Parkinson’s disease. Different dose levels of the study medication will be compared to placebo (looks like the investigational medication but does not contain the active ingredient) when added to L-dopa.

Who Qualifies for This Research Study? The people who may qualify for this study:

  • Are 30-85 years old
  • Have been taking levodopa (L-dopa) medication for Parkinson’s disease for 1 year or longer
  • Have been experiencing motor fluctuations (medication “off” time) for at least the last month, with or without jerky, dance-like movements of the arms and/or head (dyskinesia)
  • Do not have uncontrolled high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or any other significant neurological or psychiatric disorder

Parkinson’s disease affects an estimated four to six million people and their families all over the world. While there is still no cure, participating in clinical trials can help future generations better understand and develop treatments for this debilitating condition. A brochure about the clinical trial is here.