As we begin to reopen Rush University Medical Center for elective procedures and in-person care, we are putting your safety first. For information about COVID-19, see the latest updates. Rush accepts donations to support our response effort, staff, and patients and families.

Excellence is just the beginning.


French German Italian Portuguese Russian

Research and Clinical Trials in Movement Disorders

Research is a vital part of the mission of the Rush Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Program. Our nationally recognized research program is dedicated to finding new ways to treat Parkinson's disease, slow its progression and find a cure.

If you are interested in participating in clinical trials for Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders, see the ongoing trials available at Rush. For more information about our research programs, call (312) 563-2900 and press 4.

Benefits of participating in research trials

  • Physical improvements: Patients have access to new treatments that are not yet available to the public and may help improve their symptoms and function.
  • Emotional fulfillment: Being involved in studies offers some patients a sense of control and empowerment over their disease. 
  • Contributing to the greater good: Patients are actively involved in making a difference in the future of Parkinson's disease and playing a role in getting closer to a cure.

What we study

  • Epidemiology: Studying who gets Parkinson's and other movement disorders in the hope of identifying factors that may prevent the occurrence of the disease.
  • Features of the disease: Studying characteristics of the disease may increase our understanding of the disease itself or its impact on physical and emotional health.
  • Protective therapies: Studying new drugs or surgical approaches to help slow or stop the degenerative brain processes.
  • Novel symptomatic therapies: Studying new drugs or surgical approaches that help control the symptoms of degenerative brain processes, while not directly treating the degenerative process itself. 

Volunteering for a study

Each research study has clearly defined requirements, which may include the following:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnic background
  • Exposure to certain medications
  • Nature and severity of the disease

Patients who appear to be good candidates for a study are educated about the study and further screened for eligibility. 

  • Education: Patients receive a subject information sheet that contains important information on the study and its potential risks and benefits.
  • Screening visit: At a screening visit, patients can ask questions about the study and researchers make the final determination on whether or not the patient meets the necessary selection criteria.
  • Consent: Patients sign consent forms agreeing to comply with the requirements of the study.

Participating in a study

The actual procedures in research studies vary depending on the study and may include the following:

  • Taking experimental medications
  • Having an experimental surgical procedure
  • Doing pencil-and-paper tests
  • Getting evaluated for movement speed and accuracy
  • Undergoing screening with blood tests, spinal tap, videotape examinations or other tests

Support our research

Proper funding allows us to move forward with groundbreaking research. We look to our patients, families and friends to be donors in partnership. The Rush Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center has been designated by the Parkinson's Disease Foundation as an official Parkinson's Research Center.

Through this designation, the Parkinson's Disease Foundation has awarded us a matching annual commitment whereby the foundation will match individual donations to our Parkinson's disease program dollar for dollar up to $325,000.

This unique agreement means that your donation is automatically matched, and research dollars are doubled. This partnership allows researchers at Rush to be on the cutting edge of innovative research to advance the understanding and treatment of Parkinson's disease.

When you designate your contribution amount, use the Gift Designation option to select "Neurosciences" and then click "Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Program."