Clinical Research Opportunities

brain scan figure nerves veinsTo inquire about any of the below studies, please contact Vicki Ephron at at 713-500-7073.

  • Huntington’s Disease
    European HD network registry – observational study looking at various qualities of patients with Huntington’s Disease
  • Essential Tremor (Tremor with activity)
    Focused Ultrasound – focused ultrasound therapy that uses high-intensity ultrasound waves to destroy the target tissue in the brain involved in tremor.   UT is a coordination center that will help to screen patients with Essential tremor in order to determine appropriate candidates for the procedure.  Appropriate patients will then be referred to one of several centers in the US that perform the procedure for the treatment.  Patients will be monitored after procedure in our clinic.
  • Dystonia (abnormal or sustained muscle contractions)
    • Cervical Dystonia:  muscle contractions involving the neck and/or shoulders
    • CD Flex: Using injections Xeomin (a form of botulinum A toxin) to treat muscle spasms due to cervical dystonia.  Study will consist of several sets of injections and follow up visits over 6 to 16 weeks.
    • IPSEN:  Using injections of Dysport (a form of botulinum A toxin) in effort to treat muscle contractions associated with Cervical Dystonia.  Patients will be followed for 4 weeks.
    • Dystonia Coalition:  includes patients with muscle contractions of face, mouth, neck and/or limbs.
    • Observational study (not treatment) that looks at the natural history and progression of patients diagnosed with idiopathic (primary) dystonia including: Cranial dystonia, Oromandibular dystonia, Cervical dystonia and/or Limb dystonia
  • Parkinson Disease
    • Apokyn AM Impakt – Use of injectable Apokyn in Parkinson Disease patients
    • Use of Apokyn (apomorphine) which is an injectable medication that works on the dopamine receptor to help improve the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s Disease.
    • The study is aimed at assessing the effects of Apokyn treatment to rapidly and reliably improve the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.  Symptoms monitored include stiffness (rigidity), difficulty walking (freezing of gait) and time to reach “on” medication state.


To inquire about any of the below studies, please contact Vicki Ephron at vicki.j.ephron@uth.tmc.eduor 713-500-7073.figure brain scan nerves veins

  • Parkinson Disease/Atypical Parkinsonism
    • Cross-Sectional Cohort Study of Laboratory and Clinical Patterns in Early PD: Early Parkinson’s disease Biomarkers
      • Goal of the study is to look for patterns of presenting symptoms in patients with Parkinson’s disease in order to develop a blood marker, imaging marker or a combination of markers that could help to improve the diagnosis and target specific treatment options in an effort to slow down the disease process.
  • Long-Term Effects of Rasagiline in Parkinson’s Disease Subjects who Participated in the ADAGIO Study
    • Follow up study on previous participants in an effort to provide long-term data on the effects of Rasagiline on patients with Parkinson’s Disease.
  • A Natural History Analysis of Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behavior Disorder as Prognostic for Parkinson Disease
    • Observational study that tracks specific measurements of health in symptom free patients with abnormal sleep patterns that are known to precede Parkinson’s disease.  This study also simultaneously tracks patient s with Parkinson’s disease, patients with Atypical Parkinson’s disease and age matched controls  over 5 years in an effort to establish markers that would aid in the ability to provide better defined predictors  for developing Parkinson’s disease  before it is clinically manifested.  Health measurements include detailed neurological exam, detailed MRI of the brain, sleep study, blood sample and spinal tab (optional).
  • The Role of Cytokines and Chronic Inflammation in the Pathogenesis of Parkinson Disease
    • Study designed to explore the effects of inflammatory mediators (cytokines) on cells and tissue affected by Parkinson’s disease.
    • Phenotyping Parkinson’s disease-specific peripheral CD4+ T cells.   This is a sub-study of the longitudinal observational study exploring   the role of the immune system in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease.  The study also compares between groups of patients and controls how the immune and neural systems interact and how innate immunity vs. adaptive immunity plays a role in PD. The goal is to identify immune system responses to promote neuro-regeneration.
  • Multiple System Atrophy
    • Imaging, CSF, Cognitive and Behavioral Biomarkers in Multiple System Atrophy (MSA).  The goal of this study is to look for patterns of presenting symptoms in Multiple System Atrophy that correlate with disease  onset and progression and  to identify  disease  modifying therapies by  examining the immune response in  MSA patients compared to  controls patients.
  • Deep Brain Stimulation  Therapy ongoing research
    • ISPR Implantable System Performance Registry
      • This is a research registry database (list of information on a computer) using the information from patients who have received Medtronic products such as an intrathecal baclofen pump or deep brain stimulator.  The purpose of the registry is to keep track of the use and performance of the products and to better understand patient needs.
  • Deep Brain Stimulation effects on Speech in Parkinson’s Disease
  • Deep Brain Stimulation Induced Neural Plasticity in Parkinson’s Disease
  • Assessment of the Effects of DBS on Neural Tracts, Motor and Cognitive Function, and Working Memory (Biomarker Sub study)