Take part in research

The Take Part Hub is one of the places where you can contribute to Parkinson’s research. Find a study to take part in and get your questions answered.

Parkinson's research needs everyone. People with and without Parkinson's, of every age, gender and ethnicity. Without volunteers, progress in Parkinson’s research would be impossible.

Taking part in a research study can come in many forms, from questionnaires to trialling new treatments. Some research can be done from home, while other opportunities will involve visiting a hospital or research centre. 

Whatever you're ready for, you can make a difference.

What you need to know

The term clinical research simply means any study that involves people taking part.

Clinical research is vital. It helps us learn more about how our bodies work, what goes wrong in conditions like Parkinson’s, and to test potentially life-changing new treatments and therapies.

Taking part in research could be:  

  • answering online or paper questionnaires and surveys
  • sharing experiences with researchers
  • trialling new treatments, therapies and medical devices
  • undergoing assessments to look at movement, thinking and memory
  • providing samples from blood and saliva to measure specific genes or proteins.  

Yes, Parkinson’s research needs you. Parkinson’s research should involve, include, and represent all members of the community. 

People with Parkinson’s, people without Parkinson’s. Some studies need newly diagnosed people, whereas others need people who have had Parkinson’s for a long time. Certain studies look at specific symptoms too, and need people with a range of experiences.

Clinical research trials are often delayed because of the difficulty in enrolling participants. Some research has indicated that 45% of clinical studies are held up due to it. We need you to help get new treatments, faster.  

Yes, some research can be done from home like filling in questionnaires or wearing a device. Other opportunities will involve visiting a hospital or research centre, such as trialling new drug treatments.

You'll contribute to a better understanding of Parkinson's. And help researchers get closer to finding better treatments and a cure, as well as improving current care for everyone.  The more diverse the study group, the more research will reflect the experiences of everyone in the Parkinson’s community. 

Many people who take part in research tell us it gives them a feeling of control over what they are experiencing and the chance to be a part of something important. 

In some research you will get to spend time with experienced healthcare professionals, giving you the chance to discuss your own situation in more detail and learn more about Parkinson's. 

The majority of research studies will not involve any changes to your medication. For some, more complex studies, the researchers may ask you to delay your medication. Speak to the researcher for more information and to decide what’s best for you.

It depends on the study, but the choice is yours. Some studies will involve visits to a hospital or trial site near you and may involve some time commitment for undergoing assessments. Others can be as quick and easy as filling in an online survey.

It depends on the trial but all research studies should offer to reimburse your travel expenses as a minimum.

Some clinical trials may offer a more substantial payment if they require more time or inconvenience for the participant. Reimbursements and payments should be made clear in the study fact sheet participants that must read before taking part. You can always ask the study team if you are unsure or need additional support.

The researchers managing each study will be able to give you more in-depth information. If you have any queries, qualms, or concerns please do ask.

All research studies looking for people to take part have gone through a review process. This process is designed to make sure that everyone taking part in the research is kept safe. Your data will remain confidential and used in line with the latest data protection requirements. 

You will always get an information sheet to read and a consent form to sign before any research activity happens. You can stop taking part at any point and you don't need to give a reason for withdrawing. 

You can find out more about how research is regulated in this short video from the National Institute for Health Research.

We understand that you may have questions about taking part. You can get in touch with us using the information here. Or read more on our blog or leaflet.

Parkinson's research needs you

Joe Gregory, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 4 years ago, said: 

"Taking part in research, it's like a team sport. I've found my community. It's like I matter again, I'm getting involved in something that doesn't just benefit me."