The effort to cure diseases like Parkinson’s disease is on the minds of many people during this time of year. We are often traveling home to see loved ones where we learn about new diagnoses or new stages in the disease that they battle, or we are remembering those who bravely fought their battle with Parkinson’s, yet lost.
It is understandable, therefore, why there is a push to fund only research that is the closest to bringing about a cure, so-called translational research.
However, for translational research to succeed, first we need discoveries to be made that will translate into clinical advances. Put another way, if translational research is the engine that will find the cures to today’s diseases, then discovery research is the fuel that drives that engine.
Cuts to research funding have begun to bring this issue into sharp relief. Many have begun to comment on this issue and defend the need to maintain the funding of basic science [here, here, and most recently here]. The fear is that without support for basic science or discovery research, the cure engine will run dry.
At PDF, our scientific advisory board believes that in order to end PD we still need to understand more about this disease. Therefore, a large part of the research PDF supports is largely basic science. This investment has been hugely successful too – for every $1 that PDF spends in support of research, PDF funded scientists are able to attract over $5 more in additional money (to learn about this investment, see our poster here).
PDF is doing its part to keep the cure engine fueled and to move us forward toward that goal of solving Parkinson’s and ending it for good. And as the end of the year approaches, I ask that you too do your part to help us in the fight to end PD. Please give today by visiting our website here. Not only will your donation support basic research, when you donate before Tuesday, December 31st, it will be matched for up to $300,000, doubling your impact to PD research.