Parkinson's Disease Research

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurological condition, which causes a loss of dopaminergic neurons in the brain and leads to a loss of dopamine production. The body uses dopamine to help coordinate movement, which is why PD often causes physical symptoms like shaking (tremor), rigidity (dystonia) and difficulty walking. PD also causes non-motor symptoms like sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression, hallucinations, and/or cognitive issues. PD is the second most common age-related neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease.

There is currently no cure (yet) for Parkinson’s disease. However, current treatments for PD help improve and control symptoms. Each occurrence of PD is different, so it is difficult to determine how your PD will progress. Please ask you doctor for more detail about disease progression.

  • Levodopa: Doctors have been treating PD with Levodopa for the past 50 years. As the brain loses the ability to create and convert dopamine in the brain, symptoms worsen. Lovodopa helps replace the dopamine that is no longer produced because of PD.  Commonly, you will see carbidopa combined with levodopa, to help minimize side effects.

    • Common pill forms include: Sinemet, Rytary, CD/LD

    • Intestinal Infusion: Duodopa


  • Dopamine Agonists: Is often used before the use of Levodopa, to treat motor symptoms of PD; though dopamine agonists can also be used in combination with Levodopa. Dopamin agonists are designed to act like dopamine, stimulating dopamine receptors in the brain.

    • Common pill forms include: Pramapexole, ropinirole Injectables: Apomorphine

    • Patches: Rotigotine


  • Monoamine Oxidanse B (MAOB) Inhibitors: Help to keep dopamine in the brain longer, by blocking enzymes known as MAOB, which break down dopamine in the brain.

    • Common MAOB Inhibitors include: Rasagiline (Azilec) and Selegiline 


  • Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS): Is used to control PD symptoms when oral medications stop working or become significantly less affective. DBS is a surgical prcedure that places electrodes (electrical stimulation to the brain). The electrodes use high frequency stimulation on the parts of the brain that help control PD symptoms. 


  • Catechol-O-Methyl Transferase (COMT) Inhibitors: Help extend the length of time levodopa works in the brain. COMT inhibitors block enzymes that break down levodopa, so the effects of levodopa last longer on control PD symptoms.
    • Common pill form of COMT: Entacapone, Opicapone, and Stalevo

This means you medication (like CD/LD, Rytary etc.) are wearing off and your symptoms are starting to return, like:

  • Tremors, trembling of hands, arms, legs, jaw and face
  • Stiffness of the arms, legs and trunk
  • Slowness of movement
  • Poor balance and coordination
  • Speech difficulty 

This means it might be time for your next dose, or to talk to your doctor about increasing or changing you dose or medications. Often “off” times occur in the morning, between doses, if you are under stress, or having much physical activity.

When you take your dose of drug and you start to notice your PD symptoms less or stop all together. The effects of your drug regimen may vary. Talk to your doctor about how to maximize the “on” effects of your PD medications. 

Current Studies

BIAL Trial: A Phase 2, Double Blind, Placebo Controlled Study to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of BIA 28-6156 in Subjects with Parkinson’s Disease with a Pathogenic Variant in the Glucocerebrosidase (GBA1) Gene. 

Biogen “LUMA” Trial: A Phase 2b, Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study to Determine the Efficacy and Safety of BIIB122 in Participants with Parkinson’s Disease

Boston Scientific “Vercise” Trial:  Neuromodulation Corp A4069: Registry of Deep Brain Stimulation with the VERCISE™ System.

Intra-Cellular Trial: A Randomized, Double Blind, Placebo Controlled Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Lenrispodun as Adjunctive Therapy in the Treatment of Patients with Motor Fluctuations due Parkinson’s Disease.

Lundbeck Pharmaceutical: Interventional, open-label, exploratory study, investigating the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and efficacy of Lu AF28996 in patients with Parkinson’s disease (hereinafter referred to as the “Protocol”) 18252A 

PhotoPharmics, Inc.“LightPD” (PSG): “Double-blind, Randomized Controlled Trial to Demonstrate Efficacy of Celeste® Specialized Phototherapy in Treating Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.” CT2401

Scion NeuroStim: Non-Invasive Brainstem Modulation for the Treatment of Non-Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease: A Randomized, Controlled Trial and an Open Label Extension Study. 


PD Dementia or MCI

What is Dementia?

Dementia is not one specific disease; it is a term used to describe a group of symptoms associated with cognitive or mental decline. Such as, a decline in memory, concentration, or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform usual activities. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases, and is the most common cause of a progressive dementia in older adults, but there are a number of causes of dementia. Keep in mind, having memory problems alone doesn’t mean you have dementia.