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PD Groups Unite in Support of Clinical Research

The Parkinson's Disease Foundation has partnered with six leading Parkinson's groups and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) to lead a nationwide effort to accelerate the development of new treatments for Parkinson's by increasing awareness and participation of the patient community in clinical research.

The campaign, called Advancing Parkinson's Therapies (APT), was initiated because an increasing number of new therapies will soon need to be tested and because current levels of participation are insufficient. Currently an estimated 5,000 people with Parkinson's are participating in studies, and this number falls far short of the anticipated 10,000-15,000 participants needed to efficiently conduct clinical studies in the next two to three years.

APT will work to address this issue by providing better access to information on Parkinson's clinical trials, by increasing awareness among patients and physicians and by educating patient communities on the value of clinical research.

"The NINDS is delighted that the Parkinson's groups have come together to support the efforts of scientists conducting clinical research. The Parkinson's advocacy community is well-positioned to get the word out and help answer the many questions patients have about what it means to be a volunteer in a research study," said Marian Emr, NINDS Director of Communications and Public Liaison.

Among the plans to achieve campaign goals will be the launch of a new website dedicated to Parkinson's clinical trials, www.pdtrials.org (coming July 15, 2004), patient educational brochures and a bi-annual bulletin on trials seeking patients.

In addition to PDF, the following organizations have pledged support for the effort: the American Parkinson Disease Association, the Kinetics Foundation, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, the National Parkinson Foundation, the Parkinson Alliance, and the Parkinson's Action Network.