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Welcome to the UK Clinical Trials Gateway

Our site is here to help you find out about health and social care research that is taking place across the UK.

You can find out what 'clinical trials' and 'health and social care research' involves as well as finding out about studies that are happening right now into any condition or disease area.

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Latest research findings


from the NIHR Dissemination Centre

Getting hospital patients up and moving shortens stay and improves fitness
Interventions to encourage patients admitted to hospital for medical problems to get out of bed and walk around increases their mobility, without increasing their risk of falls. Older inpatients frequently spend much of their time in bed, which risks a loss of physical condition and muscle tone. This can make it harder for them to manage independently at home, and may contribute to delayed discharge. A review summarised thirteen trials from the UK, Europe and Australia, involving 2,703 adults of average age 75, admitted to hospital for medical reasons. It found significant improvements in walking speed (a measure of fitness) among those who took part in programmes to encourage mobilisation, compared with patients who did not. Length of stay was on average two days shorter. Encouraging mobilisation among hospital in-patients may be a relatively low cost and effective way of reducing hospital stays and improving patient well-being.
16 April 2019

When is it best to start the Parkinson’s drug, levodopa?
Earlier treatment with levodopa provides symptomatic relief to those with symptoms but does not appear to slow Parkinson’s disease from progressing. Therefore, timing is best determined by symptoms. The treatment of Parkinson’s disease is complex. Levodopa is the main drug used to reduce tremors and muscle stiffness. Whether it modifies the course of the disease or becomes less effective over time is debated, and it can have side effects, so patients and clinicians sometimes prefer to delay starting treatment. This Dutch trial involved 445 participants with a recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, enrolled over five years. About half took levodopa for 80 weeks, and half placebo for the first 40 weeks and levodopa for the last 40 weeks. There was no difference in symptoms between the groups at the end of the study. This evidence supports current guidance to start levodopa when symptoms begin to affect the quality of life and confirm that it has insufficient impact on disease progression to justify earlier treatment.
16 April 2019

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