Las Vegas: Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is participating in the expansion of the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) study with The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF).
The landmark observational study is composed of researchers, funders, and study participants working toward the goal of identifying progression biomarkers – or disease indicators – to improve Parkinson’s disease therapeutics, prevention and prognosis. Joining Cleveland Clinic’s main campus in Ohio as part of the global PPMI network, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas is the first and only study site in Nevada.
“Disease-modifying therapies that can actually slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease are desperately needed, and the PPMI study is an important step in helping us achieve this goal. By identifying indicators of disease progression, we’ll be able to better predict disability and, ultimately, slow or prevent it,” said Zoltan Mari, M.D., FAAN, director of the Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Program at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and the PPMI site principal investigator. “To be selected as a study site is a milestone achievement not only for our center, but for the broader Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders community in Nevada.”
Launched in 2010, PPMI has developed the most robust Parkinson’s disease data set and biosample library in the world toward acceleration of better treatments, cures and even prevention of the disease. In 2021, PPMI launched a major expansion to activate more sites and enroll vastly more participants. Now, PPMI marches forward in that expansion and so far has enrolled 1,600 participants with a goal of reaching 4,000 through year-end 2023.
As part of the latest cohort to be added to the recently expanded PPMI, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health will collect clinical and imaging data, as well as biological samples primarily from people recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease who are not yet taking medication.
“When the Foundation started in 2000, we set out to change the game on how Parkinson’s research gets done,” said Michael J. Fox as the study launched its expansion in 2021. “Two decades later, I’m proud that we have continued to meet this challenge and have become more than just a research organization, but a space where patients bring their wisdom and energy. PPMI’s expansion is about getting this done, curing Parkinson’s, boiling down to a biomarker that we can identify early on and prevent the disease from ever impacting another family.”
The Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is currently enrolling men and women age 30 or older who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease for no more than two years, or have not yet been formally diagnosed, but are experiencing one or more symptoms (e.g., tremor, slowness, stiffness) and are not currently taking medication.
Those that participate will undergo comprehensive evaluation for a minimum of five years, including clinical and imaging assessments as well as the donation of biosamples. Additionally, participants will also be asked to respond to targeted questionnaires and provide digital data as part of the online part of PPMI and PPMI mobile app.
For more information about PPMI, visit ClevelandClinic.org/NevadaResearch or call 702-701-7944.