Under-enrollment is one of the most significant problems facing Parkinson’s drug development, according to the Fox Trial Finder website. Eighty per cent of Parkinson’s clinical trials fail to recruit enough volunteers within planned timelines, forcing studies to finish late or never really get started.
Such a discouraging statistic could have been a driving force behind the Fox Trial Finder, a tool developed by experts that matches up trial teams with those that want to participate.
Launched in April 2012 by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the Fox Trial Finder aims to streamline the flow of participants into studies and speed profess toward therapeutic breakthroughs.
The Fox Trial Finder starts with volunteers using an online form to fill out information about themselves while trial teams simultaneously share information about their needs. The Fox Trial Finder compares the information and identifies potential matches. Both volunteers and trial teams can access updated lists of new trials and new volunteers respectively. They can trade messages and learn more about the trial and the volunteer.
Seventy per cent of Fox Trial Finder volunteers are Parkinson’s patients and the rest are healthy volunteers. As someone who does not suffer from Parkinson’s, you can still participate and make a difference.
The Fox Trial Finder’s website asserts that it “opens the door to your opportunity to make a priceless contribution”, because by participating in research, you give something money can’t buy.
This is a good lesson for anyone out there who may hesitate at the opportunity to contribute to a cause they believe in, due to a lack of disposable income. Volunteering your time can be rewarding and in the case of Parkinson’s research, your time may be more valuable than your money.
Thanks for reading,
Ian M. Hull
*Don’t miss a special evening with rock legend Tom Cochrane in support of the Morton & Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Centre at the Toronto Western Hospital. Set in the fabulous Capital Event Theatre, the event will include an open bar, great food, a silent auction and amazing entertainment.