Parkinson’s Disease Study Now Open To Local Patients

Local doctors partner with Dartmouth Medical Center to Transform Parkinson’s treatment

DAYTON, Ohio (October 23, 2018) – Local Parkinson’s disease patients have an opportunity to participate in a research study that could improve some of the lesser known symptoms of the disease.

Premier Health’s Clinical Neuroscience Institute (CNSI) will partner with Dartmouth Medical Center in New Hampshire to conduct the study aimed at understanding the effect exercise has on anxiety, fatigue and depression among Parkinson’s patients. At any time during the course of the disease, more than half of Parkinson’s patients will experience any of these three symptoms.

“Everyone knows about the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease such as tremor, slowness and rigidity,” said Dr. Feldman, DO, the neurologist at CNSI who will head the entire study. “However, the non-motor symptoms are often more bothersome to patients and more difficult for us to treat. It is well-established that exercise is neuro-protective in Parkinson’s disease, but the problem is we don’t know which exercise is best.”

 The study will determine specifically if yoga, spinning or Parkinson’s dance (also known as “Dancing with Parkinson’s”) will work better for three prominent non-motor symptoms of the disease. The institute will randomize 24 patients evenly to the three types of exercise and patients will participate in one hour classes, twice weekly for six weeks. Patients will complete a questionnaire both prior to exercise and after exercise to determine if exercise interventions made a difference.

Participation in the study is free including a screening visit with a neurologist prior to the study, and the Microsoft exercise band that they will use throughout it. Studies allow patients to be on the cutting edge of new research, but also play an active role in giving back, Dr. Feldman said.

“Patients have often told me that if they are going to have to suffer from this disease they want to have a purpose in the midst of it,” she said. “Playing a role in furthering our research is a significant contribution.”

This entire study was designed by Dr. Feldman, and funded by a grant from the Parkinson’s Foundation, a large non-profit organization that helps promote clinical and basic research trials, education, and public awareness related to Parkinson’s disease. The research design is particularly unique in that it is funded through the Parkinson’s Foundation PAIR  (Parkinson’s advocate in research) program that encourages physicians to partner with patients who have Parkinson’s disease to help design and conduct clinical trials. 

Dr. Feldman’s research team also includes co-investigator Ashley Paul, MD, from Wright State University, and co-investigators Stephen Lee, MD, PhD, and Mr. John Tomeny, a Parkinson’s patient advocate, from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. The entire team of researchers will combine results, assess statistical significance from both Premier Health and Dartmouth Medical Center, and publish the study’s results, expected by the end of 2019. If patients want to hear more about, or participate in the study, they can do so by calling 937-438-7500.

For more information about Parkinson’s disease or to find a Premier Physician Network physician near you, visit

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