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Doing our part to find a cure

When I got the call that it was time for me to take the annual battery of mental and physical tests for the PostCEPT clinical trial, the researcher asked if a male member of my household – not related by blood – could come and provide data for a different clinical trial. Were they talking about my husband, I asked? She laughed and said, yes.

Happily my husband was able to take the afternoon off to participate. I'd often regaled him with tales of what goes on in clinical trials and he was curious to see for himself.

His trial is focused on identifying biomarkers (alpha-synuclein, olafactory function, and genetic factors) that may predict the future onset of Parkinson Disease, as high cholesterol does for heart disease. Currently, there are no identified biomarkers for PD.

My husband accompanied me into the treatment room for my tests. At first I felt a little embarrassed doing the mental tests in front of him, but quickly relaxed. He got to watch me say as many words starting with the letter “V” that I could come up with in 30 seconds. This is my favorite test: very-verily-verify-victim-victimize-victor-victorious, and so on. Next was the math or spell the words backwards test. I chose the math test – start at 100 and subtract backwards by 7. I like that one, too. (OK, I admit it, I only like the ones I'm good at.)

sniff test

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Jean's husband in the PROBE clinical trial

Interspersed throughout the visit was the “remember these three (and then five) words” test. Since I’m not good at those, I don’t like doing them. I can never remember all of the three words 20 minutes later. And I’m even worse at remembering all five words! My husband remembered both the set of three words AND the set of five words. He’s an "over achiever."

We both took the “smell” test (described below left) and, when we compared our answers, I was surprised to find we agreed about 75% of the time. He teased me that I could smell better than I thought. "I'm a good guesser," I responded.

My husband also had his medical history taken, and gave 6 (very large) vials of blood. (he wants that clear.) They already had plenty of my blood from my previous PostCEPT study visits.

We left happy that we both did our part to help find a cure for PD.

Jean's signature






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