Thank you for your interest in the SPARX3 study. We are actively recruiting participants for this ongoing study. Below is more information for volunteering in SPARX3.

Approximately 29 sites will enroll participants: 27 sites that cover all geographic regions of the USA and 2 sites in Canada. All sites will have a collaboration between movement disorders and exercise specialists. The sites have extensive experience conducting studies involving exercise and people with Parkinson's disease (PD).

What is SPARX3 about?

SPARX3 (NCT04284436) is a Phase 3 multi-site, randomized study of endurance treadmill exercise on changes in the signs and symptoms of PD. The goal of SPARX3 is to test whether the progression of the signs of PD is decreased in people who have not initiated medication for PD when they perform endurance treadmill exercise. 370 persons diagnosed with PD who have not yet initiated medication, age 40-80 years, will be randomly assigned to either moderate-intensity or high-intensity exercise training.

What are the research study procedures?

First, you will complete a telephone screening followed by two in-person screening visits to confirm that you meet the criteria to participate in the study. These visits consist of physical and memory/thinking assessments, a blood draw, a questionnaire to screen for depression, and a brain scan (DaTscan) that helps confirm the diagnosis of PD. If you are eligible to participate in this study, you will then complete 7 additional assessment visits over the course of the 24 months, which consist of more physical and memory/thinking assessments, questionnaires, blood draws, exercise tests, and one additional brain scan. You will be randomized (like flipping a coin) to one of two exercise groups. You will be asked to exercise at a specific rate/intensity 4 days per week for approximately 30 min.

Who qualifies to volunteer in the SPARX3 study?

We are seeking individuals with PD who are willing to take part in a regular treadmill exercise program 4x/week for 18 months and participate in study visits periodically for 24 months.

Volunteers must be:

    • 40-80 years old

    • Diagnosed with PD within the last 3 years

    • Not yet taking medications for PD symptoms

    • Not planning to start medications for PD symptoms in the next 6 months

    • Not currently participating in a structured exercise program

What will volunteers be asked to do?

  • Physical and cognitive assessments

  • Blood draws at the start and end of the study

  • Imaging scans (DaTscan)

  • 18 months of treadmill exercise

  • Regularly scheduled in-person study visits over 24 months

During this study, participants will be encouraged:

  • To refrain from enrolling in other studies or interventions that could affect your motor symptoms or aerobic fitness, but can continue to engage in their usual physical activities.

  • To refrain from enrolling in other studies that require a DaTscan™ SPECT imaging procedure as part of the study activities, with the exception of the PPMI2.0 study.

  • To refrain from taking dopaminergic medication unless medically necessary for the duration of the study

If you think that you may be eligible for participation please use the map and links below to find and contact the nearest clinical site for SPARX3.

If you need assistance with your participation in the SPARX3 study contact Elizabeth Skender by email or call at 309-922-7254.


Clinical Sites Contacts


University of Alabama at Birmingham

Contact: Jenna Smith


University of California, San Francisco

Contact: Corinna Conroy


University of Colorado - Denver

Contact: Katherine Balfany


University of Florida

Contact: Amanda Fessenden


Emory University

Contact: Allison Bay

Morehouse College

Contact: Paula Phabian-Millbrook


Northwestern University

Contact: Garett Griffith

Rush University Medical Center

Contact: Richard Shi


Iowa State University

Contact: Elizabeth Stegemoller


Louisiana State University & Louisiana State University Health Science Center

Contact: Jan Hondzinski


Boston University (Charles River Campus)

Contact: Michael Stevenson


University of Michigan

Contact: Linda Rubley


University of Minnesota

Contact: Sommer Amundsen Huffmaster

Mayo Clinic

Contact: Sandy Looney


Washington University St. Louis

Contact: Martha Hessler

New York

New York University Langone Health

Contact: Caitlin Romano

Columbia University Medical Center

Contact: Ashwini Rao


Ohio Health

Contact: Kitra Hunter

University of Cincinnati

Contact: Jessica Marchbank

Cleveland Clinic

Contact: MacKenzie Dunlap

University Hospitals/Kent State University

Contact: Angela Ridgel


Oregon Health & Science University

Contact: Graham Harker


University of Pennsylvania

Contact: Marcela Pavón

University of Pittsburgh

Contact: Kathy Betts

Telephone: 412-383-6736


University of Texas Medical Brand

Contact: Summer Chapman


University of Utah and Intermountain Healthcare

Contact: Genevieve Olivier


University of Virginia

Contact: Arthur Weltman


University of Alberta

Contact: Krista Nelles

Wilfrid Laurier University of Canada

Contact: Kishoree 'Kish' Sangarapillai

Hounds of SPARX3

Meet our friendly canine team assisting us find volunteers! Thank you for visiting the SPARX3 website.