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Currently Enrolling New Participants

Observational Studies

Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI)
Parkinson's Genetic Research Study (PAGER)
Memory Research Study In Parkinson's Disease and Dementia


Research Registry

Are you interested in participating in a research study but don't currently see one that suits you? You can now join our Research Registry to be placed on a list for future studies. 

*Call the ADRC 858-822-4800 and ask for Christina Gigliotti for more information.


Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative

PI: Douglas Galasko, M.D.

PPMI is a five-year observational study of PD and control participants. The study is designed to establish a comprehensive set of clinical, imaging and biosample data that will be used to define biomarkers of PD progression. Once these biomarkers are defined, they can be used in therapeutic studies, which is the ultimate goal.

PPMI will follow standardized data acquisition protocols to ensure that tests and assessments conducted at multiple sites can be pooled in centralized databases and repositories. The clinical, imaging and biologic data will be easily accessible to researchers in real time through a Web portal. The biological samples collected throughout the course of PPMI will be stored in a central repository that will be accessible to any scientist with promising biomarker leads for the purposes of verifying initial results and assessing correlations to clinical outcomes and other biomarkers. Only with collaborative efforts like PPMI can we efficiently identify and validate biomarker candidates for PD progression.

Who can take part in PPMI?

PPMI seeks to enroll participants from two groups: 200 controls who do not have PD and 400 Parkinson’s or “possible PD” patients (these can be patients who are newly diagnosed and have taken medication for less than 60 days or, ideally, patients who have not yet started taking PD medication; patients with possible PD are also highly qualified for the study). Participants must be at least 30 years of age. Volunteers will be enrolled in PPMI through summer 2012. Once enrolled, subjects will participate in the study through summer 2015, completing three to five years of study visits depending on their enrollment date.

A patient I recently diagnosed with PD has not yet begun medication, but may need to start soon. Can s/he still participate in PPMI?

Yes, and in fact, patients like these are the most appropriate subjects for the study. If possible, enrollees are asked to stay medication-free for the first six months of participation. For many newly diagnosed patients who take part in PPMI, it will become necessary to start PD medications at some point during the course of the study. Starting PD meds at any point after enrolling in PPMI does not compromise a patient’s eligibility to participate. Further, PPMI sites acknowledge that all treatment decisions are of primary importance and should be determined solely between the patient and his or her primary doctor.

What is the visit schedule for individuals who enroll in the study?

Participants will be required to make four study visits in their first year, with visits twice a year thereafter. Each visit will include different tests, assessments and biologics sampling, including motor, neuropsychiatric and cognitive assessments; DatSCAN and MRI imaging; and, blood, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), urine and DNA sampling.

Click here for more information:

To participate contact:

Christina Gigliotti, Ph.D. or Deborah Fontaine, N.P. at 858-822-4800



Memory Research Study In Parkinson's Disease and Dementia

J. Vincent Filoteo, Ph.D. is currently conducting a research study examining how Parkinson's Disease and dementia affects the abitlity to learn new information. Participants in this study are asked to come to the San Diego VA Medical Center and take a computerized and paper/pencil tests that will evaluate memory and attention. If you are possibly interested in participating in the study, please contact Dr. Filoteo's laboratory at the VA San Diego Healthcare System at (858) 552-8585 ext. 5593. His assistant will explain the study and determine whether you are appropriate for participation.


  • ages 55 – 80
  • Parkinson's Disease Diagnosis
  • No Diagnosis of memory Problems
  • No other neurological syndrome
  • No anticholinergic drugs for Parkinson's Disease
  • No Deep brain stimulating surgery
  • English native speaker

Parkinson's Genetic Research Study (PAGER)

The purpose of the PaGeR Study is to identify genes that increase a person's risk of developing Parkinson's disease (PD) or a related disorder. The main focus of the study is on families in which two or more people have PD. For people who already have PD, the study is also trying to find genes that increase the likelihood of developing certain PD-related problems such as difficulties with thinking and memory. In this study, we will compare differences in genes between patients with PD, their family members, and unrelated people who do not have PD (controls). In some instances we might also examine how differences in certain genes relate to differences in proteins found in blood. This study consists of one visit that includes a blood draw, neurological assessments, and questionnaires.

Who can participate?

Families in which there are two or more individuals who have been diagnosed with PD are eligible to participate in the study. All unaffected family members are being asked to participate as well.

What is required to take part in the study?

Study participants will be asked to complete a questionnaire and to undergo an interview, a neurological examination, a short memory test, and a blood draw.

The interview includes questions about PD symptoms, medications taken, and family history. the questionnaire collects information about environmental exposures such as smoking, caffeine and pesticides. Enrollment in the study usually takes between one and two hours.

Where can my family enroll?

There a number of sites across the country where families can enroll. The Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at UCSD is one of those sites. For family members who are unable to travel to one of the sites, other arrangements can be made.

To participate contact:

Deborah Fontaine, N.P. at 858-822-4800