If you're in the early stages of Parkinson's disease, you might want to think about participating in a clinical trial. Parkinson's is a progressive condition that's likely to get worse over time. Researchers are working on ways to slow, stop, or reverse the progression so you can maintain your quality of life for longer. A clinical trial might benefit you in the present and help others in the future. Here are things to know about participating in a clinical trial.
You Sometimes Get A Placebo
Clinical trials operate in different ways. Sometimes you get the investigational drug or treatment and you and the research team know it. Other times, you may not know if you're getting the drug or a placebo, but the research team knows what you're taking. It's also possible neither you nor the research team know if you're taking a placebo or the investigational drug.
This means you could go through the study and never receive the new treatment, but your participation is still useful since it helps researchers compare the results of those who take the drug against a control group.
You're Made Fully Aware Of The Risks
Clinical trials are done on new drugs as well as drugs that are currently in use but given for other medical conditions. There could be a risk of side effects for drugs that haven't been in use or that are used for Parkinson's but intended for another disease.
The research team carefully explains all of the possible risks and helps you weigh them against the possible benefits of participating in the trial. If you don't feel comfortable with the risks, you can back out at any time, even if you've already started the trial.
You'll Need To Pass The Medical Exam
Early-stage Parkinson's clinical trials will most likely require you to have a diagnosis of early Parkinson's. The research team may have their own criteria for the severity of your symptoms and what they are willing to accept. The rest of your health is important to consider too before accepting you into a clinical trial. Certain medications or medical conditions could keep you from participating.
You May Be Offered Payment
While getting money for your participation may not be a priority for you, you might get paid a small amount for each visit to help cover the cost of transportation and your time spent in the clinic. Money is often paid out at the end of the trial, which could take several weeks, even if you drop out early.
Early-stage Parkinson's clinical trials are important for advancing effective treatments for this condition. Like most other medical conditions, treatments that are given early might slow down the advancement of the disease or even stop it completely. By participating in a clinical trial, you would be doing your part in helping find effective treatments that improve the quality of life for those dealing with Parkinson's. If you're interested in participating in a trial, reach out to an organization like Institute for Neurodegenerative Disorders.