Participate in a research study 


Parkinson’s Disease Study

The purpose of our current research is to identify molecules in the saliva, called microRNAs, which can serve as biomarkers for Parkinson’s Disease. We are hoping to identify specific microRNAs that are present in higher levels in the saliva of Parkinson’s patients compared to controls. By doing this, we may be able to diagnose this disease at an earlier stage and also improve our understanding of the disease.

Our study involves a single appointment, which lasts approximately 1 hour. During the appointment, we ask for a saliva sample and a medical history. We also perform a complete assessment with the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale and detailed functional assessments to examine balance and motor function as well as cognitive and sensory function.  Subjects who participate in the study receive immediate feedback about their level of performance in the various test measures.  Additionally, all subjects receive $25 compensation.

More information on our study can be found at http://upstate.edu/parkinsonstudy.

We are also looking for healthy controls that match the ages of our Parkinson’s subjects. Often, the spouses of the Parkinson’s patients serve as great controls, and the appointments can be completed together.


About the Study
“Molecular and functional biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease” is being performed by Drs. Frank Middleton, Dragos Mihaila and Christopher Neville in the departments of Neuroscience & Physiology, Neurology, and Physical Medicine. The study is funded by Motion Intelligence, Inc. The purpose of this study is to help identify molecules in the saliva, called microRNAs, which can serve as biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease. By finding microRNA markers with higher levels in Parkinson’s patients, we may be able to diagnose this disease at an earlier stage and also improve our understanding of the disease.

Can I be in the study?
Any adult with a recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease will likely meet the criteria to participate in this study. Also, the healthy adults without the diagnosis of Parkinson’s can participate as controls.

What is involved in the study?
A doctor will ask each participant to perform a brief series of neurological tests, in addition to cognitive and balance tests. A small amount of saliva will then be collected in order to measure microRNA.

Will this study help me?
This study will not directly benefit you.  But, the results of this study may help us to understand some of the causes of Parkinson’s disease and help us to improve our diagnosis and services to those with Parkinson’s disease in the future.

What does it cost to participate in the study?
There are no costs to you for any of the tests involved in this study.  For your participation you will be reimbursed a small amount ($25).

Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you for being willing to consider participating in this research.  We are here to answer any questions you may have about the procedure as well as how your sample will be used.  If you have any questions that are not answered here, call 315-464-7729 or fill out the sign up form and we will contact you.