MORE than 29,500 people volunteered for health research studies in Oxfordshire last year.

A total of 17,527 participants took part in 487 studies at Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust since April last year.

A total of 9,965 participants took part in 58 studies in the community, including trialling possible treatments for COVID-19, while a further 2,270 volunteered in 60 studies at Oxford Health, which provides physical, mental health and social care.

Sally Bromley, 73, a retired schoolteacher from Summertown, has been participating in the University of Oxford's Targeting Pathways to Parkinson’s study since it opened in 2010, after she was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson's disease in 2008.

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She said: "I had long been aware I had a shaking hand but it didn't bother me, so I didn't worry about it until my daughter took me to see the doctor. I burst into tears when I was told. You think you're ready for it but you're never really ready for a horrid diagnosis.

"My right foot drags a bit and I don't swing my arm when I walk. I find it very difficult to turn over in bed and I have anxiety and very vivid dreams. I can't play the piano anymore because I've lost the dexterity in my hands, and I've lost my singing voice. I studied music at college so it's really quite a loss."

The study involves visits to OUH's John Radcliffe Hospital every 18 months for tests and measurements, including blood tests, MRI scans, skin biopsies, walking examinations and memory tests to help researchers better understand how Parkinson's develops.

You can find out more about how to volunteer at

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This story was written by Anna Colivicchi, she joined the team this year and covers health stories for the Oxfordshire papers. 

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