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Taking part in research projects as a volunteer is a rewarding, interesting and positive way to fight back against Parkinson's. It's your contribution to future treatments and cures, and it brings you into stimulating contact with researchers and clinicians. Read on to learn more - or jump to the project details.

Projects with close links to our Branch

On this page you'll find more information about projects with direct links to our Branch that may be recruiting research participants. Researchers on each project listed here have visited our Branch to tell us about their work and to ask us to get involved.

Our Branch and research

As a Branch we're heavily committed to supporting research. All income from each autumn's Oxford Walk for Parkinson's is used to fund locally-based research programmes, and we have made significant direct contributions to other projects at the University and Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre.

This commitment brings us into active contact with many researchers in both clinical and basic science.

More details

In Control by Design

At our March and April 2019 meetings, researcher Dr Julien Carponcy told us about an unusual and fascinating outreach programme. Engineers, clinicians and basic scientists will work alongside patients and the Pitt Rivers Museum to explore technology- and design-based solutions for daily living challenges. The emphasis is less on the end product and more on the collaborative processes, both technical and aesthetic, that we follow to reach a solution.

Julien and his team hope that everyone involved will gain a deeper understanding of the design process, the impact of aesthetic considerations on technology, and the challenges faced daily by patients.

If you're interested in engaging more closely with people from a wide range of disciplines through this interesting initiative, please contact Julien's team by email at incontrol@pharm.ox.ac.uk.

Walk-Well

Our good friend Professor Helen Dawes, of Oxford Brookes University's Movement Sciences Group, visited our Branch meeting in April 2019 to tell us about her collaboration with McGill University of Montréal, Canada. The programme pulls together a range of existing expertise in physiotherapy, movement science and wearable technology to create a new programme to help people improve their walking. If you are able to walk unaided or with the help of sticks/canes, and would be willing to participate in a 2-hour workshop at the Headington site of Oxford Brookes at 1pm on 1st May, please get in touch with Helen. Here's the information Helen has provided:

Walk-Well Workshop - May 1st, 1pm-3pm

Contact: info.oxcatts@brookes.ac.uk

This dynamic and interactive workshop will introduce participants to the latest techniques and knowledge about safe and healthful walking. During this 2 hour workshop, you will:

  • Have your walking pattern and walking capacity assessed.
  • Participate in a coached walking activity.
  • Learn to walk the best you can.
  • Receive personalized recommendations for improving walking.

This workshop is for people who wish to increase their capacity to walk as best as they can. The content will emphasize walking safely, efficiently, and to gain health benefits and increase independence. The workshop can be tailored to your needs for walking well and walking better. Come alone or bring a friend - all ages are welcome. We guarantee you will have fun and learn a lot about this most essential activity.

Don't forget to wear good walking shoes and to bring water and a personal snack. Please RSVP as soon as possible and let us know if you need parking places booked.

Effects of medication on learning and memory

This project has the rather imposing title of The effects of medication on learning and memory in Parkinson's Disease and it's recruiting volunteers now.

The work is undertaken by the University's Department of Psychiatry, and would require you to attend three study sessions involving computer-based cognitive tasks. Sessions last around 2 to 3 hours and will be spaced two or three weeks apart. They take place at the Warneford Hospital in Headington; travel expenses will be reimbursed. Participants need to be aged 50-75 and to have been diagnosed with Parkinson's in the last 6 years. For more details or to register your interest, email pdcognition@psych.ox.ac.uk or telephone 01865 618245.