Diagnosis: Parkinson's disease
Treatment: Clinical trial
EvergreenHealth’s research team shares access to clinical trials that offer patients a new lease on life.
When Cindy Jacobson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2010, she was relieved to have an explanation for the symptoms that had been bothering her for more than a year—mild tremors, an increasing loss of muscle control, and fatigue that depleted her energy to get even simple tasks done around the house.
When she received a referral to see Dr. Pinky Agarwal at EvergreenHealth’s Booth Gardner Parkinson’s Care Center, Cindy was immediately drawn to Dr. Agarwal’s focus on exploring treatment options outside of surgery.
After discussing her condition and goals for treatment, Dr. Agarwal recommended that Cindy enroll in a new clinical trial for Parkinson’s disease patients at EvergreenHealth.
TACKLING THE "OFF" TIMES
For people living with Parkinson’s, it’s not uncommon to experience “off” times - periods of time when medications have worn off, inviting the return of tremors and other symptoms, before patients can take their next dose.
For Cindy , her off times had been leaving her without the strength and motivation to move around the house.
The clinical trial Dr. Agarwal recommended would work to reduce the chance of off periods by administering a medication as a continuous subcutaneous (under the skin) infusion via a portable pump.
An infusion line is attached to the abdomen subcutaneously and is digitally programmed to release the correct dosage of medication from the pump directly into the body throughout the day.
The infusion line can be attached and removed by patients themselves.
BETTER SYMPTOM MANAGEMENT
After just a few weeks, Cindy noticed a dramatic difference in her ability to manage her symptoms.
“With the support of EvergreenHealth, along with my wonderful husband and our faith in God, I was able to life back,” explained Cindy.
According to Dr. Agarwal, Cindy is a good candidate for the trial because of the disease’s effects on her energy levels and emotional outlook.
“Parkinson’s disease not only presents itself in physical symptoms, such as shaking and muscle stiffness, but also in psychological symptoms, like depression and anxiety,” Dr. Agarwal said. “Many patients with Parkinson’s are deficient in dopamine, a chemical in the brain that helps regulate movement emotional responses.”
“The drug used in Cindy’s trial has some of the same effects as dopamine, which helps to make the treatment very effective for her,” said Dr. Agarwal.
EvergreenHealth leads dozens of clinical trials for patients living with a range of neurological conditions and welcomes patient participation to help advance research into new treatments.
If you are interested in discussing your eligibility to participate in a clinical trial, please visit www.evergreenhealth.com/research or call 425.899.5385.