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Vestibular Function in Parkinson Disease

Vestibular Function in Parkinson Disease

We are conducting this study because people with Parkinson disease (PD) often develop symptoms that medications used to treat PD do not fully resolve. This may be because the vestibular system (part of the inner ear that senses head motion) is affected in people with PD differently than changes seen in normal aging. The vestibular system contributes to our balance and has many other connections within our brain, including areas for memory and blood pressure. We also don’t know how medications for PD affect the vestibular system. We are looking for people with PD who are taking dopamine-affecting medications for their PD symptoms and healthy adults to participate in this study.

Participants with PD will be asked to complete two sets of testing, one after skipping their morning dose of medication for PD, and another while on their regular medication for PD. Healthy adults will be asked to complete one set of testing so that test results can be compared between the two groups.

Tests will include a clinical exam, vestibular system tests, and balance and walking tests. Vestibular tests will include things such as wearing goggles with a camera to track eye movements, sitting in a slowly turning chair, and having sticky electrodes placed on the face and neck. Participants will be compensated $50 for each full set of testing. Parking or public transportation costs can be covered by the project.

Participant Eligibility

– Age between 40-90 years
– Able to stand and walk for 2 minutes without help from another person
– No history of chronic vestibular disorders or other neurological disorders unrelated to PD

In addition, participants with PD cannot have had brain surgery to treat PD (e.g. deep brain stimulator placement).


Jennifer Brodsky
(206) 616-4113

Additional Study Details

Full Study Title
Parkinson Disease and Medication Effects on Vestbular Function

Study ID: STUDY00018172
Start Date: 09/05/2023
End Date: 09/04/2024

Jennifer Brodsky, DPT
Valerie Kelly, PT, PhD
James O. Phillips, PhD

Accepts Healthy Volunteers?

Study Site(s)

University of Washington Health Sciences Center

1705 NE Pacific St Dept of Otolaryngology, Rm BB845
Seattle, Washington 98195


Use the link below to send a message to the study coordinator, or call the number above to speak directly with a study representative.

I am interested in this research study.