A study is being conducted through the State University of New York (SUNY) Eye Institute to identify a biomarker for Parkinson Disease at the back of the eye. The aim is to be able to identify PD earlier than is currently possible, and to help physicians follow patients’ response to therapy. This study is funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, in collaboration with two SUNY campuses: Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn and the State College of Optometry in Manhattan.
Using new technological advances, it is now possible to scan the back of the eye and see the retina in cross-section! Researchers are looking for evidence of Parkinson Disease in the retina, as there are some specialized cells in the retina which utilize Dopamine as a neurotransmitter.
Twenty participants in Brooklyn Parkinson Group classes and activities have already volunteered to participate in this study. Overall, they report it has been a positive, often educational experience. The scans are taken with light, so there is minimal risk involved (no radiation of any kind).
Study participants are reimbursed $50 for travel expenses to the college. If their data qualify to be included in the study, the Michael J. Fox Foundation rewards participants with an additional $150.
If you would like to speak with someone who has participated in the study, please call BPG, at 718 522 0553.
If you or someone you know is interested in participating in this study, please call
Dr. Samantha Slotnick, Clinical Research Optometrist for more information about the study and how to enroll.(347) 878 9519.