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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.

Engage more widely through Parkinson's UK

Inevitably, our branch comes into contact with only a tiny proportion of the huge range of Parkinson's research taking place. Many other projects are looking to sign up new volunteers. Our parent charity Parkinson's UK has comprehensive information about what it's like to be a participant and a useful tool to help find projects near you that need volunteers.

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.

Julien has given us some additional information about participation:

In Control By Design

This project is a collaboration between people living with Parkinson's, researchers at Oxford University's MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit and the Pitt Rivers Museum. The aim is to work together to try and create one or more objects that could be helpful in coping with some of the everyday challenges of living with Parkinson's. A key part of this project is about empowering those affected by Parkinson's to guide decisions on the objects created together, based on their interests and knowledge, as well as on the skills of the researchers, Museum staff and a project artist/designer.

Is this a Research Project?

No. This is a collaborative project which aims to explore a different kind of engagement between researchers and communities, one that none of the participants have tried before. We hope that we will design together object(s) which people find helpful, but this project is as much about the process as it is about the result.

Why the Museum?

The Pitt Rivers Museum is a museum of comparative technology, showing technological solutions to myriad and seemingly universal problems faced by people from across the globe and throughout time. In this project, we will use the museum's collections to reflect with participants on design solutions that adapt movement and aid health from other cultures and from other time periods. We'll use these explorations of 'alternative' technological solutions to health issues to stimulate discussion, new ideas, and inspire us...

Other information

Participants' reasonable travelling costs will be reimbursed.

We would be very happy to get in touch personally over the phone with you, if you would let us know that you would like this idea. We will inform you in the coming days about the next steps.

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.