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Published on July 07, 2021

Giving Back Through Research

Vickie and Eric Singsaas

After a diagnosis confirmed Parkinson's Disease, Eric Singsaas knew he wanted to contribute to EvergreenHealth clinical trials

For years, Eric Singsaas thought his right arm tremor was the result of enjoying one too many cups of coffee.

But when his wife, Vickie, asked why he was shaking at church one morning, it was a sign that he needed to see a physician.

They met with neurologist Dr. Pinky Agarwal, who specializes in movement disorders at EvergreenHealth's Booth Gardner Parkinson's Center. After a series of tests, Vickie asked, "Does he have Parkinson's disease?" Being a hospice nurse, she was accustomed to seeing patients with Parkinson's disease at their worst.

Dr. Agarwal was straightforward. "Yes, you do," she said to Eric. "But early identification helps manage the disease better."

Dr. Agarwal went on to explain EvergreenHealth's clinical trials cater to patients who have recently been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease to those with more advanced motor and non-motor symptoms and provide innovative treatment options to improve quality of life.

Singsaas didn't allow his diagnosis to hinder his positive spirit. "It's ominous to hear that you have a neurodegenerative disease—your mind can go to dark places," he said. "But I'm blessed to have the love of an amazing woman and knew right away I wanted to participate in research."

"Clinical trials can be challenging, but Eric understood the rationale behind the studies and was eager to help us understand if a clinical trial may alter the progression of the disease," Dr. Agarwal said.

Ultimately, he enrolled in PROSEEK, a double-blind, placebo-controlled study for newly diagnosed patients. He had a 33% chance of receiving the medication being studied to help treat the disease.

"Parkinson's is a part of who I am, I've accepted it," Singsaas said. "But I want to help contribute to research so someone else doesn't have to go through what I have."

Singsaas' trial ended in July 2021 and he's looking forward to the possibility of joining more research. In the meantime, he enjoys walking his dog, Cooper, in their Sammamish neighborhood, and spending time with Vickie and their five children.

EvergreenHealth Research Services is involved on the forefront of investigating new treatments, facilitating sponsored clinical studies as well as internal investigator-initiated research programs across a spectrum of subjects. Call 425-899-5385 to learn more about clinical trials at EvergreenHealth, or visit www.evergreenhealth.com/health-services/clinical-trials.

Pinky Agarwal Meet the Expert

Pinky Agarwal, MD

Dr. Pinky Agarwal is a fellowship-trained neurologist whose clinical interests include Parkinson's disease and a wide variety of movement disorders. Dr. Agarwal has several research projects involving treatment of movement disorders. She practices at the Booth Gardner Parkinson's Care Center at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, WA.

Read Dr. Pinky Agarwal's profile

Learn more about Parkinson's Disease at EvergreenHealth

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