Monday, June 25, 2012

Protecting the People Who Test New Parkinson’s Treatments

We all want better treatments for Parkinson’s.  Tuesday’s announcement that one of PDF’s Research Centers - Rush University Medical Center, in Chicago, IL - received full accreditation from The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP) is another step in the right direction.

Fewer than 200 institutions around the country are fully or partially accredited by AAHRPP.

Before any new treatment, for PD or another condition, is approved it must first be tested in people – in clinical research studies – to ensure it is safe and effective.  The AAHRPP accreditation means that Rush is following the highest standards when it comes to protecting those people. 

As we discuss at length at trainings for PDF’s Parkinson’s Advocates in Research program, testing an experimental treatment always involves some risk – the reason a treatment is not yet available to everyone is that we don’t yet fully understand how it works. But we need to minimize those risks as much as we can and protect the rights of participants. 

AAHRP’s work is part of that progress. It tests research centers on a number of criteria to make sure the institutions are up to par.  To do its part, PDF has been involved in several initiatives, including collaboratively working on a Research Participants Bill of Rights, several pieces of which are featured in our educational booklet here.

If you would like to learn more about research studies and how you can ensure people with Parkinson’s are involved, learn more about our PAIR program or join our ongoing online course,which runs every Thursday in June (the recordings will be posted in July).

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