UC Irvine seeks volunteers for two Parkinson’s disease studies

RESEARCH: UC Irvine neurologist Neal Hermanowicz, MD, is recruiting subjects for two studies related to the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Hermanowicz is director of the UC Irvine Movement Disorders Program.

The first study seeks to determine if Cogane, a drug not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is safe and effective in slowing and/or stopping the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Cogane is a potential new medicine in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Cogane works by changing the brain’s production of proteins, called neurotrophic factors, which help the survival, development and function of nerve cells. These proteins are produced naturally by the body to protect nerve cells. It is also possible that these proteins could slow down or even reverse the progression of diseases caused by nerve damage.

Qualified subjects are males or females, between 35 and 75 years old, who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease within the past two years and currently, are not taking any PD medications. Females subjects must be non-child bearing potential, either surgically sterile or postmenopausal. The researchers will determine if you also meet other rules for entry into the study.

There is no cost to participate in this study. Health insurance is not required to participate in this study. Subjects will be reimbursed $46 for each study visit that they complete, for travel expenses. This study involves a minimum of 10 study visits over 8 months. The total reimbursement possible for travel in this study is $460.

The second study is looking for adults with Parkinson’s disease who are currently experiencing symptoms of hallucinations and/or delusions. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of an investigational tablet, Pimavanserin, compared to placebo (an inactive substance) in the treatment of hallucinations and/or delusions in Parkinson’s disease.
To pre-qualify for this study, you must:

  • Be 40 years of age or older with a Parkinson’s diagnosis of at least 1 year
  • Have visual and/or auditory hallucinations and/or delusions (called “psychotic symptoms”) during the last 4 weeks which developed after the PD diagnosis
  • Have been taking a stable dose of anti-Parkinson’s disease medication for at least one month before entering the study
  • Not currently be taking any study specific prohibited medication
  • Have a caregiver that is willing to come to all of your study visits with you
  • There are other criteria that apply and the researchers will discuss these with you

Participation in this study may last up to 12 weeks and may include a total of 6 clinic visits. Qualified participants will receive study-related medical evaluations and the investigational medication at no cost. Compensation for time and travel will be provided. Health insurance is not required.

For more information and qualifications please contact the Hermanowicz Research Team, Movements Disorders Program, Department of Neurology at 949-824-3485, 949-824-8116 or E.Ceballos@uci.edu.

August 06, 2011