Michael J. Fox Fights His Disease Online

Parkinsons disease research empowered by michael fox

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Michael J. Fox's battle against Parkinson's disease needs volunteers, even if they don't have the disease. His latest effort matches volunteers with studies about Parkinson's disease.

People who don't have Parkinson's disease can help, and often get free medical exams, because some studies need to compare healthy people with Parkinson's disease patients.

Visit the Fox Trial Finder, go to https://foxtrialfinder.michaeljfox.org/.

When Fox got his diagnosis, "the first thing the doctor did was give me a prescription. If that doctor could have also given me a pamphlet describing something I could do to help myself and others over the long-term, that would have meant everything.

"So, that’s our vision. ... We want patients and the Parkinson’s community to receive the message: There is something you can do,” Fox told Neurology Now, the American Academy of Neurology’s magazine for patients and caregivers.

Other trial-finder websites exist, but Neurology Now points out that Fox Trial Finder makes extra efforts to match a potential volunteer with the right study. Then the website helps volunteers and researchers connect. The website also will alert a person when the right trial later becomes available.

In addition, researchers can find volunteers who could be a good match for their studies. Or a person can just browse the website for studies. All information is confidential. Even researchers looking for volunteers can't see someone's name.

The website, less than a year old, has more than 110 studies and 1,200 potential volunteers so far. About a third of the people don't have Parkinson's disease, said an official with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which funds the website.

Some of the studies are interventional, which means researchers study the safety and effects of treatments such as drugs, acupuncture or exercise.

Other studies are observational, which means researchers study how the disease affects people.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
December 8, 2011
Last Updated:
December 12, 2011