Research Studies: Parkinson's and Related Disorders

For more study specific information or to refer patients, please contact our research coordinators directly.

Antibodies Against Alpha-Synuclein (active; with limit anti-Parkinson's treatment) 


This clinical trial is an approximately 20 week long study to evaluate whether a single dose of an investigational immunotherapy (antibody) drug given intravenously is safe and well-tolerated in PD patients. The drug is designed to bind to and remove the alpha-synuclein, which is believed to build up to abnormally high levels in the brains of subjects with PD. This is a single dose study involving a pre-dose lumbar puncture followed by 6 day / 5 night inpatient stay with 24 hour continuous heart monitoring and two post infusion lumbar punctures. Additional study activities include 3 MRIs, 1 DaTScan, clinical evaluations, neuropsychological testing, and blood sample collections. Eligible patients are between 40 - 80 years of age who have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease for less than five years, have no motor fluctuations or dyskinesia's, are not receiving symptomatic PD treatment (no dopamine agonists/selegiline/rasagiline in last 3 months & no levadopa in last 30 days), and are willing to remain off symptomatic PD medications during study. For further information about this study, please contact our research coordinator mdcresearch@ucsd.edu.

Neurodegenerative Disorders Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Biorepository

The UCSD Movement Disorder Center is conducting a study to learn more about Parkinsonian diseases by collecting cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the fluid that the brain sits in, samples for future research. Non-UCSD patients will first need to be seen at UCSD to confirm the diagnosis and medical history. Participation will include 1 study visit to complete a lumbar puncture. For more information please email: mdcresearch@ucsd.edu

Interventional Studies: PD with Fluctuations

Dopamine Agonist for PD Patients with Fluctuations (Enrolling)

This Clinical trial is approximately 23 weeks/161 day long study comparing the effectiveness of a new D1/D5 Dopamine Agonist when taken with L-Dopa versus only taking L-Dopa alone for the management of "OFF" episodes. This new dopamine agonist may have the potential to reduce OFF time in subjects with PD who are experiencing significant OFF time despite their current dopaminergic therapy. Patients eligible for this study should have a meaningful response to L-Dopa with well- defined "OFF" time duration of >2.5 house during the waking day. Patients must be on at least 400mg/day of L- Dopa/day for 28 days prior to enrollment and should not have memory problems. For further information please contact our research coordinator  email: mdcresearch@ucsd.edu. See brochure.

T-cell mediated autoimmune responses in PD (MJFF)

The research study's goal is to develop a biomarker of responsiveness to quantify alpha-synuclein (a-sin) responsive T cells in PD patients. Eligible participants would come in for one study visit to donate blood (250 mL).Please contact mdcresearch@ucsd.edu for more information. 

PD Observational Studies

Cognition in PD and related Disorders 

Dr. J. Vincent Filoteo‚Äôs group is conducting cross sectional and longitudinal studies of cognition (e.g., memory, attention, problem solving) in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and related disorders. Their goal is to better characterize the nature of neuropsychological and psychological changes in individuals with PD as well as identify novel predictors of future cognitive decline. Please contact Dr. Filoteo's research coordinator at 858-552-8585 ext 5593 if you are interested in participating, or if you would like to refer a patient to our study. Link to Dr. Filoteo's publications

Related Publications:

  • Prospective Memory Deficits are Associated with Poorer Everyday Functioning in PD. See the pdf.
  • Validation of the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale in Parkinson's Disease. See the pdf.
  • Implicit Category Learning Performance Predicts Rate of Cognitive Decline in Non-demented Patients With Parkinson's Disease. See the pdf.

PD Cognitive Decline

This Pilot study seeks to identify markers in individuals who currently have normal cognitive functioning but who go on to develop cognitive problemsearly in t he course of their disease. Currently, the markers of the progression of the disease are primarily motor symptoms, but other biological markers, and sleep disturbances that, when properly combined, will allow an algorithm to be developed that could be used to predict the risk for cognitive problems occuring early in the disease and whether such an algorithm can predict the future development of dementia.For more information please contact mdcresearch@ucsd.edu.



Patient Outcomes Project and Patient Registry Study

The goal of this program is to have a cohort of 500 patients followed at each center, with 200 patient data forms to be submitted within the next twelve months. This observational study only involves PD patients, whose medical history, UPDRS, H&Y, and other data will be collected. Currently enrolling established patients.

Contact Lisa Damron for more information at ldamron@ucsd.edu.