Diagnosis: Parkinson's disease
Treatment: Clinical trials
“The key to an effective approach to managing a disease like Parkinson’s is to bring the best elements together,” patient Kent Unruh shared.
That search for excellence in medical care led Kent to EvergreenHealth’s Research program.
As a research scientist himself, Kent knew the advantages of participating in clinical trial programs and was impressed by EvergreenHealth’s access to trials that just a handful of institutions across the United States currently offer.
Under the guidance of his neurologist Pinky Agarwal, MD, Kent enrolled in EvergreenHealth’s Apomorphine Infusion Parkinson’s study, which administers a continuous flow of medication that seeks to curb many of the symptoms which would otherwise keep Unruh from leading his active lifestyle.
“Clinical trials take time, effort and engagement on the patient’s part. Certainly there are ups and downs, but the benefits can be pretty remarkable, as well,” Kent shared.
Since enrolling in the Apomorphine Infusion trial, Kent has adapted his lifestyle to be able to continue doing the things that are important to him – spending time with his family, staying engaged in his work, and remaining physically active.
“It’s allowed me to still work part-time. But the real gift in all of this is being able to come home and play with my children by shooting hoops in the street, or going for a short bicycle ride with them.”
“Trials are a big part of the comprehensive care that we offer at EvergreenHealth’s Booth Gardner Parkinson’s Care Center,” Dr. Agarwal explained. “In addition to the patient-centered approach of a community-focused health system, we offer cutting-edge research and medications that give patients different options for managing their condition. In Kent’s case, the trial is enabling him to maintain his quality of life, and the results we’ve seen so far have been very encouraging.”
“Gaining headway in understanding Parkinson’s takes patients and providers working together and contributing to the knowledge base over time,” Kent says. “I feel like EvergreenHealth really understands that balance and brings both scientific thinking and compassion to their approach.”
EvergreenHealth currently offers more than 50 actively enrolling clinical studies with dozens of new trials coming on board each year.