A key research study into Parkinson’s disease, led by a doctor from the Royal United HospitalsBath NHS Foundation Trust, has won a top accolade at a regional awards ceremony.

Dr Emily Henderson and the team behind the CHIEF-PD study, which is delivered by the Ageingand Movement Research Group at the University of Bristol, won Lead Network Study of theYear at the Clinical Research Network West of England Awards.

The CHIEF-PD study is one of the UK’s largest ever drug trials in Parkinson’s disease andspecifically targets falls prevention. The medical research trial is examining whether drugsnormally used to treat people with memory problems can be used to reduce the number of fallsthat people with Parkinson’s experience.

The study has enrolled 600 participants across an impressive 39 centres in the UK.Despite the major challenges to clinical research posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, CHIEF-PDreached its recruitment target and managed to enrol a significant number of people withParkinson’s, many of whom are frail and have multiple long-term conditions. This is important toensure that the findings from the trial are relevant to people living with Parkinson’s now.

They achieved this by trialling novel approaches to research delivery, such as drugs beingdelivered to participants rather than them having to collect medication.

The findings from the trial will enable medical specialists to make decisions in conjunction withpeople with Parkinson's, to ensure they are provided with the best treatments to improve theirexperience and quality of life.

Dr Emily Henderson said: “To receive such a prestigious award really is a fantastic achievement and is recognition of the hard work and dedication of all the team.

“It is important to recognise the contribution of my RUH colleagues Ruth Hamlin and Veronica Lyell, whose support in recruiting over 80 people with Parkinson’s to the trial has been key to the success of the study nationally .

“We anticipate that the findings of this trial will have an important impact on the lives of people with Parkinson’s.”

You can find out more about the CHIEF PD trial here: https://chiefpd.blogs.bristol.ac.uk/