Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common, progressive, neurodegenerative disorder. Recent studies have suggested a number of potential neuroprotective agents, but a large clinical trial would be needed to determine effectiveness. This could only be accomplished by a consortium of experienced PD trial centers.
The aim of this proposal is to outline our experience, interest and excitement in becoming a center, and willingness to cooperate with other sites. The Movement Disorders Program at the University of Calgary is the only PD clinic in Southern Alberta, serving a population of almost 2 million. Its major aim is to provide comprehensive clinical care integrated with clinical research to Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. Clinic physicians and nurse coordinators have a proven track record of 12 years of experience in collaborative clinical trials. The clinic has an international reputation for being consistently a high recruiter, and for providing high quality participation. One of the strengths is the integration of clinical care with clinical research in one unit. Patients will frequently be cared for by the same neurologist and nurse coordinator on a long-term basis, whether they are receiving clinical care and/or participating in clinical trials. Recruitment for the proposed trials will be easily achieved due to the following factors: 1) large referral base 2) no competing PD centres in the area 3) established database including 3000 patients 4) collegial working relationship with community and sub-specialty neurologists 5) close working relationship with PD lay organizations, including Parkinson's Society of Southern Alberta, and Parkinson Society Canada 6) clinic website linked to University of Calgary and lay organizations. Maintenance of the identified patient population is enhanced by the organization of the established program. 1) proven loyalty and appreciation of patients for our comprehensive care program 2) integration of clinical research and clinical programs 3) continuity of involvement of neurologists and nurse clinicians 4) ease and regularity of patient communication with clinic members via e-mail and phone. The clinic has strong support from the University of Calgary and Calgary Health Region to fulfill its aim of providing comprehensive, integrated state of the art programs to PD patients, and advancing research in this area.
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