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Become a Research Volunteer

PADs for Parkinson’s, the program that trains canines to detect an odor associated with Parkinson’s, is seeking 20 volunteer subjects to assist with an exciting research study. The purpose of the research is to determine if a biomarker, known to be elevated in the urine of individuals with neurodegenerative disease, can be correlated with the indicative alert responses from the dogs of PADs (Parkinson’s Alert Dogs) in sebum. 

As a research volunteer,  you will be asked to provide a urine sample and you will be asked to wear a T-shirt for three nights, or 24 hours. The dogs will be presented with the T-shirt sample to determine a positive or negative alert response, and the urine sample will be analyzed in a University Chemistry Lab to determine levels of the targeted biomarker. 

For your convenience, sample collection kits, with all materials included, will be delivered and collected at your door by a research assistant. Your personal confidentiality will be strictly protected, and sample results will only be recorded and published by numbered sample.

Lipid peroxidation is proven to occur at a higher rate in the brains of people with neurodegenerative disease and results in an elevated level of a compound found in urine.  An odorant is proven to occur in the sebum of people with Parkinson’s, but to date, there is no absolute biomarker to indicate the presence of the odor in the sebum of Parkinson’s patients. The objective of this study is to determine if a correlation exists between the presence of the odorant in sebum and increased lipid peroxidation in the brain.

These results can then be used to gain greater understanding into how dogs detect an odor associated with Parkinson’s, and if the dogs are efficient indicators in prodromal or early-stage Parkinson’s. Results from an ensuing study could help to determine if lipid peroxidation is occurring at a steady or unsteady rate of progression, and if increased lipid peroxidation occurs at an earlier or later stage of the disease.

If you would like to use your PD diagnosis to fight the disease, please respond by texting or calling Lisa Holt at (360) 298-5494 or email

Thank you. You provide the inspiration for the work we do.

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