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Nonsurgical Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease

Clinical Trial Title: 
Nonsurgical stimulation for Parkinson’s disease
Clinical Trial Protocol ID: 
Clinical Trial Investigator Name: 
Cynthia Comella, MD
Clinical Trial Protocol Description: 

The purpose of this research is to design, build and assess a system that administers non-invasive brain stimulation to treat Parkinson’s disease. The system can be worn by PD patients at night to administer transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to help treat PD symptoms, decrease medication usage, and reduce sleep-related side effects. tDCS involves sending a weak electrical field around the brain via electrodes placed on the scalp that increases the brain’s excitability. It is anticipated that seven subjects will participate in this study at Rush. Subjects will undergo clinical evaluations and will be required to undergo four sleep study tests during their participation in the study.

If interested, call (312) 563-2900 (press 4; give code name: ParkinStim PD Sleep)

Clinical Trial Eligibility Criteria: 

In order to participate you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a clinical diagnosis of idiopathic PD according to the UK PD brain bank criteria.
  • Are 40-70 years of age.
  • Have a Hoehn and Yahr stage II-III when off antiparkinsonian medication.
  • Are able to provide informed consent.
  • Are currently taking levodopa (300-800 mg per day).
  • Are on stable regimen of anti-parkinsonian medication for at least one month before study.

You will be excluded from the study if any of the following criteria apply to you:

  • Have significant medical or psychiatric illness, significant neurological disease other than PD.
  • Have metal objects and/or deep brain stimulators in your head that might pose a hazard during tDCS.
  • Have dementia.
  • Have significant depression or the presence of hallucinations.
  • Have undergone any surgical procedure for treatment of PD (including DBS, pallidotomy or thalamotomy) or other brain surgeries.
  • Have a history of seizures.
  • Have a known history of severe sleep apnea or sleep onset insomnia.
  • Have skin diseases that could potentially cause irritations under electrodes will be excluded.

This is a partial list of inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Clinical Trial Area: 
Parkinson's Disease and Other Movement Disorders
Contact Phone: 
(312) 563-2900 ext. 4
Contact Name: 
Cynthia Comella, MD