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Study in Parkinson Disease of Exercise (SPARX3)

  • Status
    Accepting Candidates
  • Age
    40 Years - 80 Years
  • Sexes
  • Healthy Volunteers


This study is a Phase 3 multi-site, randomized, evaluator-masked, study of endurance treadmill exercise on changes in the Movement Disorder Society-Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) Part III score at 12 months among persons with early stage Parkinson disease. 370 participants will be randomly assigned to 2 groups: 1)60-65% HRmax or 2)80-85% HRmax 4 times per week. The primary objective is to test whether the progression of the signs of Parkinson's disease is attenuated at 12 months in among persons who have not initiated medication for Parkinson Disease (PD) when they perform high-intensity endurance treadmill exercise.


This study is a Phase 3 multi-site, randomized, evaluator-masked, study of endurance treadmill exercise on changes in the MDS-UPDRS Part III score at 12 months. 370 persons diagnosed with Parkinson's disease who have not yet initiated dopaminergic therapy, age 40-80, will be randomly assigned to 2 groups: 1)60-65% HRmax or 2)80-85% HRmax 4 times per week. Secondary objectives will test hypotheses related to striatal specific binding ratio (SSBR) at 12 months, MDS-UPDRS Part III score, ambulatory mobility (6-minute walk), daily walking activity (steps), cognition, quality of life, cardiorespiratory fitness, blood-derived biomarkers of inflammation and neurotrophic factors at 12 and 18 months. Tertiary objectives will test hypotheses related to 2 characteristics of ambulation at 12 and 18 months. Exploratory objectives will test hypotheses related to the effects of removing the study support that was provided over 18 months on the sustainability and durability of the exercise effects at 24 months. Approximately 29 sites will enroll participants: 27 sites that cover all geographic regions of the USA and 2 sites in Canada. All sites will have a collaboration between movement disorders and exercise specialists.


Full study title Study in Parkinson Disease of Exercise Phase 3 Clinical Trial: SPARX3
Protocol number OCR38262 ID NCT04284436
Phase N/A


Inclusion Criteria:

  • A diagnosis of idiopathic Parkinson Disease based on the modified * United Kingdom (UK) PD brain bank criteria and which are consistent with recent criteria proposed for clinically established early established Parkinson's disease that no longer exclude individuals with a family history of Parkinson's disease.

  • Hoehn and Yahr stages less than 3

  • Disease duration: less than 3 years since disease diagnosis

  • Age 40-80 years

  • Positive DaTscan™ SPECT by quantitative readout for idiopathic Parkinson disease.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Currently being treated with PD medications such as levodopa or dopamine receptor agonists, monoamine oxidase-B (MAO-B) inhibitors, amantadine, or anticholinergics.

  • Expected to require treatment with medication for PD in the first 6 months of the study.

  • Use of any PD medication 60 days prior to the baseline visit including but not limited to levodopa, direct dopamine agonists, amantadine, Rasagiline (Azilect), Selegiline (Eldepryl), Artane (trihexyphenidyl).

  • Duration of previous use of medications for PD exceeds 60 days.

  • Use of neuroleptics/dopamine receptor blockers for more than 30 days in the year prior to baseline visit, or any use within 30 days of baseline visit

  • Presence of known cardiovascular, metabolic, or renal disease or individuals with major signs or symptoms suggestive of cardiovascular, metabolic, or renal disease without medical clearance to participate in the exercise program.

  • Uncontrolled hypertension (resting blood pressure >150/90 mmHg)

  • Individuals with orthostatic hypotension and standing systolic BP below 100 will be excluded. Orthostatic hypotension (OH) is a reduction of systolic blood pressure of at least 20 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure of at least 10 mm Hg within 3 minutes of standing.

  • Hypo* or hyperthyroidism (TSH 5.0 mU/L), abnormal liver function (AST or ALT more than 2 times the upper limit of normal), abnormal renal function (estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) using the MDRD4 equation or the CKD-EPI equation

Participate in a study

Here are some general steps to consider when participating in a research study:

  1. Step

    Contact the research team

    Call or email the research team listed within the specific clinical trial or study to let them know that you're interested. A member of the research team, such as the researcher or study coordinator, will be available to tell you more about the study and to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

    Primary contact

    Demetra Christou
  2. Step

    Get screened to confirm eligibility

    You may be asked to take part in prescreening to make sure you are eligible for a study. The prescreening process ensures it is safe for you to participate. During the prescreening process, you will be asked some questions and you may also be asked to schedule tests or procedures to confirm your eligibility.

  3. Step

    Provide your consent to participate

    If you are eligible and want to join the clinical trial or study, a member of the research team will ask for your consent to participate. To give consent, you will be asked to read and sign a consent form for the study. This consent form explains the study's purpose, procedures, risks, benefits and provides other important information, such as the study team's contact information.

  4. Step


    If you decide to participate in a clinical trial or study, the research team will keep you informed of the study requirements and what you will need to do to throughout the study. For some trials or studies, your health care provider may work with the research team to ensure there are no conflicts with other medications or treatments.