Clinical Studies and Trials

Below, we have listed actively enrolling trials at BWH and MGH. Patients are also directed to the NIH Clinical Trials website for nationally recruiting trials.

Biomarkers in Neurodegenerative disease (Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center Biomarker Study). This study will collect, process, and store samples such as blood, cerebrospinal fluid, or other bodily materials to conduct research into Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy, cerebellar ataxias and related disorders. Without collecting such samples from our patient, we will not be able to make early diagnosis of patients or track disease progression for clinical trials.

Study Contact (Parkinson’s disease): Kuras, Yuliya ykuras@bwh.harvard.edu 857-307-5424

Study Contact (Multiple System Atrophy, Ataxias): Ariana Pitaro atpitaro@bwh.harvard.edu (or Dr Vik Khurana vkhurana@bwh.harvard.edu)

Exenatide (Pegylated) – NLY01 – an anti-inflammatory (activator of GLP-1 Receptor) is being tested for its ability to slow down the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

Study Contact: Grace Bwala gbwala@mgh.harvard.edu

Genetics of Neurodegenerative disease. This study aims to better understand genetic contributors to Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative movement disorders, and to pinpoint particular genes that might be driving the disease in specific patients we follow.

Study Contact: Ariana Pitaro atpitaro@bwh.harvard.edu (or Dr Vik Khurana vkhurana@bwh.harvard.edu)

Microbiome in Parkinson’s Disease, multiple system atrophy (MSA) and related disorders. Recently, an important role for gut microbes has been demonstrated in neurologic diseases. In this study, we investigate this relationship in our patients with Parkinson’s , MSA and other movement disorders.

Study Contact: Ariana Pitaro atpitaro@bwh.harvard.edu (or Dr Vik Khurana vkhurana@bwh.harvard.edu)

Stem Cells in Parkinson’s, MSA and other neurodegenerative diseases: This study aims to build stem-cell models from patients we follow in the movement disorders clinic at BWH and MGH. In this way, we can model the disease processes in the brain in a patient-specific model we can study in the laboratory. We will use these models to build personalized treatment strategies for our patients. Through this study, drug discovery platforms for Parkinson’s disease and related disorders have already been established. Stem-cell transplantation studies are in planning stages for Parkinson’s disease.

Study Contact: Ariana Pitaro atpitaro@bwh.harvard.edu (or Dr Vik Khurana vkhurana@bwh.harvard.edu)

TOPAZ: Fracture prevention in Parkinson’s disease (Zoledronic acid). Patients can read more and enroll at https://www.parkinson.org/research/TOPAZ-Trial.

Study Contact: Remy Johnson rkjohnson@mgh.harvard.edu 617-726-4936

Gene therapy for Parkinson’s Disease NBIb-1817 In this study a gene therapy that boosts dopamine production in the brain is being tested for its ability to improve symptoms and slow disease progression in Parkinson’s disease. A Randomized, Placebo Surgery Controlled, Double-blinded, Multi-center, Phase 2 Clinical Trial Evaluation the Efficacy and Safety of VY-AADC02 in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) with Motor Fluctuations.

Study Contact: Ariana Pitaro atpitaro@bwh.harvard.edu (or Dr Jordan Paulson jdpaulson@bwh.harvard.edu)

Golf and Tai CHI. Here, we investigate the feasibility, tolerability, and physical benefits of golf for people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD).

Study Contact: Remy Johnson rkjohnson@mgh.harvard.edu 617-726-4936

GBA Mutation and Parkinson’s Disease (GZ/SAR402671). Here, we learn whether an investigational drug can slow down the worsening of neurological symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease in participants who carry mutations in the glucocerebrosidase (GBA) gene.

Study Contact: Remy Johnson rkjohnson@mgh.harvard.edu 617-726-4936

Light Therapy Treatment for Non-Motors Symptoms in PD. This study investigates whether light therapy is effective at treating non-motor symptoms of PD- namely sleep and daytime alertness.

Study Contact: Matthew Stauder mstauder@mgh.harvard.edu 617-726-9589

Longitudinal Tau and Amyloid Imaging in PD, PD Dementia, and Dementia with Lewy Bodies. This study uses tau PET and amyloid PET imaging to evaluate how tau and amyloid accumulate in DLB, PD Dementia, cognitively normal PD and healthy control subjects.

Study Contact: Dr. Stephen Gomperts 617-726-5570

Monitoring Motor Fluctuations in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease. This study collects data using wearable sensors to monitor and track motor fluctuations and dyskinesia over set periods of time in patients with PD who are on L-dopa therapy.

Study Contact: Gloria Vergara 617-726-5570

Multiple System Atrophy – disease modifying therapy (verdiperstat). In this study, a clinical trial drug Verdiperstat is being tested for its ability to slow down disease inflammation as measured by a PET scan) in multiple system atrophy

Study Contact: Ariana Pitaro atpitaro@bwh.harvard.edu (or Dr Vik Khurana vkhurana@bwh.harvard.edu)

PET Imaging of Epigenetic Mechanisms in PD and Dementia with Lewy Bodies. This study employs Martinostat PET imaging to evaluate HDAC expression in PD, PD Dementia, and DLB.

Study Contact: Dr. Stephen Gomperts 617-726-5570

THN102 for Sleepiness in PD. This study tests the safety and efficacy of THN102, which is a combination of Modafinil and Flecainide.

Study Contact: Jessica Tran jtran20@mgh.harvard.edu 617-726-9589

Focused ultrasound trial for unilateral pallidotomy in Parkinson's patients. This double blinded trial will test focused ultrasound as an alternative for deep brain stimulation. This technique uses intersecting ultrasonic beams to create frictional energy and heat. This in turn creates a small lesion in a part of the brain that is thought to benefit symptoms in Parkinson’s.

Study Contact: Abigail Zhang / Grace Park 617-732-6826