Take part in research

Take part in research

Research into Parkinson’s continues to be on the rise in Australia and internationally.

Taking part in a research project may result in a better understanding of, or better treatment or a potential cure for Parkinson’s. In some cases, research projects may provide access to new interventions before they are widely available.

Below are current research projects looking for participants

This study aims to find out whether melatonin can help people with Parkinson’s Disease to get better sleep.

Sleep problems often cause major discomfort in Parkinson’s Disease. The person’s health and quality of life is affected, and so are their family members’, especially if they are also carers.

Melatonin is a hormone which regulates the sleep-wake cycle, by promoting the desire to sleep at night. Studies in other conditions show that melatonin can increase sleep efficiency, decrease night-time awakenings, and help people fall asleep.

To be eligible for this study people must be:

  • Aged over 30 years
  • Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease by a neurologist
  • Experiencing sleep difficulties, particularly getting to sleep.

If you are already on melatonin, you can still join the study to find out if it works for you.

This study involves two phases:

  • Phase 1 involves answering a questionnaire, and keeping a sleep diary for two weeks.
  • Phase 2 involves testing medication effectiveness for 12 weeks. During this period, you will be given both melatonin and a placebo (dummy tablet), in blocks of two weeks each, and in random order. You also need to keep a sleep diary and complete some questionnaires.

Our research has full ethics approval.

Reasons to participate:

  1. You will find out if melatonin helps you fall asleep, stay asleep and your sleep quality.
  2. At the end of the study, an individual report about whether the melatonin worked for you will be given to your doctor to discuss with you.
  3. You will help others by assisting us to find out if melatonin should be used for people with Parkinson’s Disease who are having trouble sleeping

We hope that our research will help patients, families and medical practitioners to find a better treatment for long-term sleeping difficulties among people with Parkinson’s Disease.


  • This study can be done online or over the phone in the comfort of your own home
  • Information collected will be sleep diary data, questionnaire data about your health, and data from a Motionwatch which monitors your sleep patterns.
  • No face-to-face meetings are required. There will be two phone calls to enroll participants (10 mins and 45 mins), then weekly 5 minute calls to monitor progress.
  • The study will last 4 weeks (2 + 12). There is a run-in (Phase 1) to find out which dose to test, then a 12 week study (Phase 2).
  • All data is de-identified before publication. All data is completely confidential. Your doctor sees a summary of your individual results at the end of your study. Data is stored on the secure University of Queensland server.

Contact information

Dr Jane Nikles, Principal Research Fellow, The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research

Email: uqjnikle@uq.edu.au

Phone: 0408 599 033

For more details visit the study website here

View / download flyer

The Integrate Program: A Program Designed To Improve The Mobility Of People With Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s NSW awarded grants totalling $300,000 to four prominent researchers at the Support Group Conference Annual Dinner in October 2018.

Dr Natalie Allen, Senior Lecturer – Discipline of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney was awarded one of the $100,000 Parkinson’s NSW research grants and is now recruiting volunteers.

The Integrate program is delivered in participant’s homes by physiotherapists and occupational therapists, and runs for 6 months. It includes three components: behavioural modification, environmental modification and exercise.

You may be eligible to participate if you have Parkinson’s disease and:

  • have fallen at least twice in the last 6 months,
  • are able to walk at least 10 metres on your own (with or without a walking aid)
  • do not have any other neurological problems (eg stroke) or uncontrolled health conditions (eg angina)

This study is being conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Sydney, and Neuroscience Research Australia, led by Dr Natalie Allen. All assessments and intervention will be carried out in participant’s homes.

Download the flyer

Contact information:

Name: Dr Natalie Allen

Phone: 0468 322 724

Email: natalie.allen@sydney.edu.au

Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and The University of New South Wales are looking for volunteers to take part in the Parkinson’s stepping study.

The aim is to improve voluntary and reactive stepping in people with Parkinson’s , all whilst playing enjoyable games in your own home and attending 3 slips and trips training sessions in NeuRA’s lab (Sydney).

It is hoped the stepping training program done at home and at NeuRA will result in reducing fall risk in people living with Parkinson’s.

Who can be part of this research study?

  • Diagnosed with Parkinson’s
  • Living in metropolitan Sydney
  • Willing to commit to the study for 12 weeks

Download the flyer

Contact information:

Name: Paulo Pelicioni

Email: p.pelicioni@neura.edu.au

Phone: 02 9399 1024

Website: www.neura.edu.au

Find out more

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