Could virtual studies support Parkinson’s disease research?


Author: Saskia MairPublished: 10 June 2021

Parkinson's LifePrep: Parkinson's LifeCook: Parkinson's LifeServes:

Parkinson’s research is “hampered by inefficient recruitment and burdensome in-person assessments”, according to researchers in the US and Canada. But could virtual research have the potential to help solve some of these problems?

Recruiting 203 participants from Fox Insight – an online clinical study sponsored by The Michael J Fox Foundation – the team assessed the validity of the participants’ self-reported Parkinson’s health information, and their willingness to take part in video-based research. Participants completed online questionnaires and attended two virtual visits, with a movement disorder specialist determining the likely diagnosis compared to the self-reported diagnosis.

The study revealed that the participants’ self-reported diagnosis of Parkinson’s was accurate – and that 98.5% of participants would consider participating in a future study with virtual visits.

The researchers concluded: “Our study demonstrates the promise of a much-needed novel model for conducting Parkinson’s research and highlights the potential of such a model for … advancing clinical research in Parkinson’s in the midst of a pandemic.”

Read more:

Air pollution may be linked to greater risk of Parkinson’s disease

Gait and tremor may be the best early predictors of Parkinson’s disease

Go Back

Share this story


Related articles

Special reports

Ask the expert: Are online innovations the future of Parkinson’s treatment?

Neurologist Joaquim Ferreira on the future of clinical communication

female professional caregiver taking care of elderly woman at home

Special reports

Ask the expert: How close are we to a cure for Parkinson’s disease?

We talk to the deputy CEO of the Michael J Fox Foundation

Jimmy Choi displays new pill bottle design


How a TikTok video inspired a new pill bottle design for Parkinson’s disease

A simple solution for “an everyday struggle”