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What’s in the research pipeline?

Dr Kevin McFarthing is Clinical Trials Highlights editor of the Journal of Parkinson's Disease. That journal’s most-read article of 2022 is Kevin’s regular update on the clinical trials pipeline for promising drug therapies. Unlike many academic articles it’s open-access and so anybody can read it on the journal website at this link.

The importance of this work was highlighted in this recent editorial by Prof Bas Bloem and Dr Lorraine Kalia.

Kevin's presentation

Informative articles by our own members

We are beginning to build a collection of research and information material written by Branch members. We hope you will find it useful.

From dogfish to Gila monsters - Parkinson’s treatments of tomorrow

Our Research Officer, Dr Kevin McFarthing, gave a presentation at our March 2020 branch meeting with an overview of the search for new treatments for Parkinson’s. Branch members also learnt the collective noun for groups of dogfish and lizards. You can find a copy of the slides here.

What goes wrong in Parkinson’s?

This short, easy-to-read article about the mechanisms in our brain cells that are affected by Parkinson’s was written by our Research Officer, Dr Kevin McFarthing, in April 2018. If you're unfamiliar with some of the scientific jargon and ideas that we often hear about when discussing Parkinson’s research and treatments, this will help! Download the article as a PDF document here, or preview it in your web browser using this link.

Regularly updated The Hope List: Parkinson’s Therapies in Development

Kevin also maintains a document listing all the drugs and other therapies that are being developed or in trial, along with some whose development has been abandoned. Download the Excel spreadsheet here, or preview it in your web browser using this link. Some of the information in Kevin's spreadsheet is taken from the website, which you may also find interesting.

Kevin presented some of his work on The Hope List at our Branch meeting in January 2019. His talk is available as a video screencast at this link.

Keeping up with Parkinson’s research

Anyone who's tried to stay up-to-date with research in the Parkinson’s field will know that there is a huge amount of information appearing every week, and unless you're an active researcher it's difficult to follow it all. There are many blogs, digests and other resources available on the web, but their quality is hard to assess and some have a very limited focus. We would like to suggest some resources that we know to be trustworthy and broad in scope:

Science of Parkinson’s blog (open in new tab)

Dr Simon Stott, a former Cambridge University Parkinson’s researcher who is now Deputy Director of Research at Cure Parkinson’s Trust, maintains a fascinating, wide-ranging and brilliantly written blog. He updates it two or three times a week. Some of the articles are quite technical, but they're always explained clearly and with humour. Highly recommended.

You can go straight to Simon's blog at this link. However, if you're new to it, his review of 2019 research may be a good starting point.

To receive regular updates on Simon's blog, you will need to have a Wordpress account so that you can "follow" it. If you don't want to sign up with Wordpress, you can simply check back and look at the blog every week or so – or, if you're a Twitter user, you can follow his account @ScienceofPD where he highlights new articles.

ParkyRSN Logo

Parkinson’s UK Research Support Network

The "Parky RSN" provides regular email updates on research and how you can get involved. You can find out more by following this link.

The research blog of Parkinson’s UK (open in new tab)

Our parent charity Parkinson’s UK always takes huge care to provide accurate, up-to-date and clear information. Claire Bale, Beckie Port and other research staff at the charity maintain an interesting collection of material, with new items added every few days or so, at their research blog which you can find at this link. It covers current developments in research, but also includes material on patient experiences, living well with Parkinson’s, and background articles of general interest.

If you sign up for an account with the website, you can "follow" Parkinson’s UK to get regular updates on new content.

The Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre

We are very lucky to have a world-renowned centre for Parkinson’s research on our doorstep in Oxford, the OPDC. Led by Professors Michele Hu and Richard Wade-Martins, it conducts basic research into the causes of Parkinson’s and carries out clinical studies, both to learn more about the condition and to test potential new therapies. You can find out more here on OPDC’s website.

Taking part in a clinical trial

If you’re interested in taking part in a clinical trial, first you will need to find out which trials are recruiting people with Parkinson’s. There are several good sites that provide information on such studies:

If you’d like more information about what’s involved in participating in a clinical trial, the Michael J Fox Foundation in the USA have produced this useful guide. If you have any questions or suggestions for our research activities, please contact Kevin McFarthing