The media response to the tragic suicide of the gifted actor Robin Williams has included much speculation about a possible connection between his recent diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease, or the medicines used to treat it, with the depression that apparently prompted him to take his life. At the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, we are not privy to the details of his diagnosis, or the prescriptions he may have used to treat it. Nor do we have any information about any other drugs he is rumored to have used, or whether these may have contributed to his depression.
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This Thursday will be a very special day for the Parkinson’s community: the debut of The Michael J. Fox show, a new TV comedy series starring the eponymous TV newscaster who lives with Parkinson’s disease. Michael has done so much to help this community — through the foundation he created, of course, but also by simply giving a “face” to Parkinson’s around the world. It is no exaggeration to say that he has transformed the way we look at PD and the people who live with it, and the level of urgency we all feel to bring resources to bear… Read More
Have you ever been part of a Parkinson’s research study? This Parkinson’s Awareness Month, PDF says thank you for helping to bring about better treatments at a faster pace. After all, the only way that new treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s can be found is by ordinary people taking the extraordinary step of volunteering in studies.
Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), introduced him as the “Scientist in Chief.” And he introduced himself as “the kid who had trouble with high-school physics.” But there was no mistaking the passion for his subject of the man who stood in front of us in the East Room of the White House this morning, announcing a major federal initiative in brain science. It was President Obama at his rhetorical best, mixing easy banter with a deeply serious expression of his commitment to the brain research initiative that he described as the “next great American… Read More
Two Saturdays ago, in a Washington DC hotel, PDF pulled off an interesting little coup in its long-term bid to bring people with Parkinson’s (and other neurological disorders) into the center of conversations about the process of clinical research and drug development. The occasion was the plenary session on the last day of the annual scientific conference of the American Society for Experimental Neurotherapeutics (ASENT), and the title of the session was: New Models for Collaboration: Patients as Drivers and Partners in Neurological Research. I have served on the Board of Directors of this very worthwhile organization for three years… Read More
This week, a report conducted by IHS-Global was published in the journal Movement Disorders, providing the most comprehensive, economic analysis to date of the direct and indirect costs of Parkinson’s disease to individuals and society in the United States. (In full disclosure, it was underwritten by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America). While certain premises within the report – most notably, the estimate of the overall prevalence of Parkinson’s in the United States, which is probably on the low side – may be uncertain, most of the numbers are well thought through and carefully applied to the known data…. Read More