CHIEF-PD — Preventing Falls In Parkinson’s

Who may be interested?

Any Person with Parkinson’s (PwP) who has fallen in the past year.

Falls affect 6 out of 10 PwPs every year and the consequences can be serious. Apart from hospitalisation for broken bones, loss of confidence in one’s walking leads to concern for getting out and about, and thus to isolation and more anxiety. The consequences for the care partner may also be far-reaching.

What is being trialled and where?

The CHI part of CHIEF-PD is short for Cholinesterase Inhibitor, a class of drugs that are already prescribed for people with memory problems. This is a large-scale study – 600 people – to find out to what extent the drug can reduce the number of falls that PwPs have.

The drug in this trial is rivastigmine, being compared against a placebo (looking identical but containing no drug) in a double-blind procedure, meaning that neither the partcipant nor the study investigators at the site know who is taking which. The trial is being run at 26 sites around the country, in particular by the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust.

What is involved?

You would be invited to Derriford Hospital for an appointment which will last 2 to 3 hours. You will be asked a range of questions and complete some physical assessments with a study investigator or health professional in the research team.  These include walking, sitting and standing, as well as taking your blood pressure.

A member of the research team will phone once a month to check how you are getting on. Every few months you will be sent a short questionnaire to fill in about your healthcare concerning the patches. After 12 months, you will be asked back to Derriford for the final round of assessments.

At the end of the visit, if you are eligible and agree to enrol,  you will be expected to wear a rivastigmine or placebo transdermal patches each day for the next 12 months. In a trial diary, record the dose you are taking each day and if you had a fall.

For more details of the trial procedure, and the entry criteria, read the participant’s Information Booklet. A care partner can also be involved and has their own distinct role in the trial, read the Carer Information Booklet.

Could I continue with the treatment after the trial?

If you noticed benefit then any further supply of rivastigmine would need to be discussed and arranged through your normal contact with our Parkinson’s Nurses. They may only be able to prescribe the same or similar medication if you develop more significant memory problems.

How do I enrol?

Please email marina.dobranszky-oroian@nhs.net or phone Marina on 01752 437485.