Linked clinical trials - the development of new clinical learning studies in Parkinson's disease using screening of multiple prospective new treatments

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Finding new therapies for Parkinson's disease (PD) is a slow process. We assembled an international committee of experts to examine drugs potentially suitable for repurposing to modify PD progression. This committee evaluated multiple drugs currently used, or being developed, in other therapeutic areas, as well as considering several natural, non-pharmaceutical compounds. The committee prioritized which of these putative treatments were most suited to move immediately into pilot clinical trials. Aspects considered included known modes of action, safety, blood-brain-barrier penetration, preclinical data in animal models of PD and the possibility to monitor target engagement in the brain. Of the 26 potential interventions, 10 were considered worth moving forward into small, parallel 'learning' clinical trials in PD patients. These trials could be funded in a multitude of ways through support from industry, research grants and directed philanthropic donations. The committee-based approach to select the candidate compounds might help rapidly identify new potential PD treatment strategies for use in clinical trials.


  • Patrik Brundin
  • Roger A Barker
  • P Jeffrey Conn
  • Ted M Dawson
  • Karl Kieburtz
  • Andrew J Lees
  • Michael A Schwarzschild
  • Caroline M Tanner
  • Tom Isaacs
  • Joy Duffen
  • Helen Matthews
  • Richard K H Wyse
External organisations
  • University of Cambridge
Research areas and keywords


  • Antiparkinson Agents, Clinical Trials as Topic, Humans, Parkinson Disease, Prospective Studies, Journal Article, Review
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Parkinson's Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan 1
Publication categoryResearch