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Protecting the People Who Test New Parkinson’s Treatments

We all want better treatments for Parkinson’s.  Tuesday’s announcement that one of PDF’s Research Centers – Rush University Medical Center, in Chicago, IL – received full accreditation from The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP) is another step in the right direction. Fewer than 200 institutions around the country are fully or partially accredited by AAHRPP. Before any new treatment, for PD or another condition, is approved it must first be tested in people – in clinical research studies – to ensure it is safe and effective.  The AAHRPP accreditation means that Rush is following… read more Read More

The Importance of Brain Banks for Neurological Research

Would you consider donating your brain for science? A few years ago, Diana Barnwell wrote an article, entitled, My Last Gift.  She chronicled her decision to donate her brain … and the complicated issues that arose when making her decision.  Studying actual human brains – donated by individuals upon their death, as a contribution to science – is a vital way to understanding neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s.  After all, the brain is the only mysterious organ that we can’t study during a person’s lifetime. This is why it was so devastating to scientists around the world, particularly those at… read more Read More

Easing Dyskinesia: PDF-funded Research from 2007 Leads to Testing of Experimental Drug

Earlier this week, PsychoGenics Inc., announced that an experimental drug for Parkinson’s, eltoprazine, seemed to reduce dyskinesia in people with Parkinson’s in early studies.  Dyskinesias are the twisting and writhing movements that occur as PD progresses – a common side effect of the medication levodopa (Sinemet®).    Back in 2007, it was PDF-funded researcher Manolo Carta Ph.D., along with Anders Björklund, M.D., who performed the pre-clinical research that led to the identification of this drug.  At the time, while many researchers were looking at dopamine neurons as the culprit behind dyskinesias (through their interaction with levodopa), Dr. Carta’s proposal suggested something… read more Read More

What’s On Your Wishlist? Seeking Your Feedback for our Educational Programs

What is the one topic you wish PDF’s educational programs would cover about Parkinson’s disease? … medications? … nutrition? …. exercise? We hope you tell us by taking our very short (promise – it’s just four questions) survey. You may already know that PDF regularly hosts online seminars, or PD ExpertBriefings, along with a host of other educational programs.  Available live (both online and by phone) and recorded (both online and as DVDs), they are some of our most popular programs. But we want to make sure we’re covering the topics that are relevant to your life with Parkinson’s.  So… read more Read More

PDF Research Advocates in Action

Last week, Dr. Beck discussed the role of PDF Research Advocates in PDF’s grant review. As he said, “These people, PDF’s Research Advocates, part of the Parkinson’s Advocates in Research program, insure what we will fund is not just the best for science’s sake but for the sake of people too.” Wondering what exactly our PDF Research Advocates do? We want them to tell you in our own words. Last year, PDF was able to steal a few minutes from Research Advocates Becky and Tom, in the midst of grant review. They were kind enough to explain their work in… read more Read More

Notes from AAN 2011 Part I: PDF News

This week the researchers and clinicians who treat Parkinson’s and a host of other neurological diseases are gathering at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Hawaii. Here they will share new information on the science and care of Parkinson’s. PDF’s Director of Research Programs, James Beck, Ph.D., is on the ground in Hawaii and has been sending us some updates on some of the happenings at this meeting. Here are some PDF-related highlights he has sent along: First, AAN accepted a submission from PDF as part of its competitive poster session, which Dr. Beck has shown… read more Read More