OHSU needs ‘smell test’ participants for study

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— A new study at Oregon Health & Science University is exploring whether reduced sense of smell is a biological marker of Parkinson’s disease.

Investigators are looking for people over the age of 60 who do not have Parkinson’s disease to take a brief smell survey as part of a new phase of a landmark study called the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative.

Researchers will explore whether testing for a reduced sense of smell might be combined with other measures to identify people who may be at risk for developing the disease.

OHSU is one of 24 sites around the world that are part of the $55 million Parkinson’s study sponsored by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. During the last three years, the study has been working to identify biological markers of Parkinson’s disease progression.

Residents of the Portland area who are interested in the research can become one of the 10,00 people needed to complete a brief online or paper survey about their sense of smell. Most survey respondents will be sent a scratch-and-sniff smell test and brief questionnaire in the mail to be completed at home. Some individuals may also be asked if they are willing to undergo more extensive testing at OHSU.

If you’re interested in taking the smell survey, visit www.michaeljfox.org/takethesmellsurvey, call 877-525-7764 or contact OHSU study coordinators Alicia Portillo or Art Lenahan at 503-494-1382.