OHSU is taking part in a 55-million-dollar study sponsored by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, aimed at earlier detection of Parkinson's Disease. The idea is to find biomarkers, or indicators of the disorder that attacks the central nervous system.
As it turns out, many people with Parkinson's report a loss of smell that often begins years before any motor symptoms appear.
Researchers at OHSU and 23 other facilities around the world will explore that possible connection. The study will look at whether testing for reduced ability to smell might be combined with other measures, for earlier detection and new therapies to slow or stop the progression of the disease.
Portland area residents over 60 who do not have Parkinson's are needed to participate in the study. Most will be sent a "scratch and sniff" test and a brief questionnaire to fill out at home. Some may also be asked to undergo more extensive testing at OHSU.
If you're interested in participating in the study, log onto: www.michaeljfox.org/takethesmellsurvey, or call 1-877-525-7764. Youcan also contact OHSU study coordinators Alicia Portillo or Art Lenahan at503-494-1382.