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Susan Regan
(617) 952-6204

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Grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation to Study New Biomarker for Parkinson’s Disease

The Motion Analysis Laboratory at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital has launched a study entitled “EMG modules as a novel biomarker of basal ganglia plasticity in Parkinson’s disease”. Researchers at Spaulding intend to investigate if it is possible to use muscle activity patterns as a biomarker of Parkinson’s disease. The study funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation aims to identify specific characteristics of muscle activity that could be linked to changes within the brain that are associated with Parkinson’s disease.

Currently, there is no definitive, objective biomarker or test to diagnose Parkinson’s disease and monitor its progression. A Parkinson’s disease biomarker – i.e. a substance or subject’s characteristic associated with disease presence or that changes over time in a way that can be linked the disease progression – would revolutionize clinical care.  Paolo Bonato, PhD, Director of the Spaulding Motion Analysis Lab, serves as the principal investigator on the study and Jean-Francois Daneault, PhD serves as the project lead in the laboratory.

“We hope the results of this investigation will make a significant difference in our ability to diagnose and monitor the progression on Parkinson’s disease”, says Dr. Bonato.

The study team is looking for individuals that have just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and are not taking any related medications as well as healthy volunteers.  Participants will be compensated for their time.  The study requires from 1 to 4 visits to Spaulding to complete the study.

Individuals can visit https://foxtrialfinder.michaeljfox.org/trial/4478/ to learn more about the study.