Yearly Archives: 2009

NINDS and Translational Research

For years now, many of us at the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) and other Parkinson’s disease (PD) organizations have fretted that the brain research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been too focused upon the basic processes of neuroscience and too little upon the next stage of research: finding clues to potential new therapies for specific conditions like Parkinson’s. This next stage of scientific investigation is often called “translational research,” because it is here that the molecules and compounds identified as interesting in the laboratory are “translated” into animal studies to determine their therapeutic potential. Those compounds… read more Read More

Parkinson’s Disease: Principles for Health Care Reform

With President Obama’s dramatic address to Congress now behind us – and the public reaction, both supportive and critical, rolling in from all quarters – it is now clear that health care reform will be the main domestic policy issue throughout the fall (and perhaps beyond). At my own organization, where our focus is the one million or so people who live with Parkinson’s and their families, we have received numerous expressions of concern and confusion from website visitors and constituents (and readers of our last blog post) about the meaning of various legislative proposals for health care reform, and… read more Read More

What Does Health Care Reform Mean for People Who Live With Parkinson’s?

Careful observers of the Great American Debate About Health Care Reform — now taking place over proposed legislation H.R. 3200, or America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 — will have noticed an interesting change over the past week or so in the way the Obama Administration has chosen to frame the problem. I first noticed it during a network newscast two weeks ago featuring David Axelrod, the President’s Senior Advisor. Mr. Axelrod had dropped the phrase “health care reform,” and replaced it with “health insurance reform.” Why is this change in phrasing so significant? It is because the new… read more Read More

Why do Promising PD Treatments Fail?

On Tuesday, June 9th, the second day of the Movement Disorder Society International Congress in Paris, Dr. Warren Olanow, one of the world’s leading Parkinson’s specialists, gave a brilliant and authoritative talk on the subject of “What’s New in Parkinson’s Trials?” His focus was three high-profile clinical trials that have been watched intently and anxiously by people with Parkinson’s around the world. One was the Ceregene trial, in which a growth factor called neurturin (CERE-120) was delivered via a gene therapy technique. The second was STRIDE, in which a levodopa-COMT inhibitor (Stalevo(R)) was tested for its potential impact on improving… read more Read More