Earlier this month, Congress approved, and President Obama signed, the Cures Act, formally known as the 21st Century Cures Act. Along with scores of other voluntary health and research organizations, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) applauds this move as one that will confront diseases head-on and accelerate research seeking cures. In this decisive, bipartisan move — too rare in these politically-divided days — the federal government has signaled its confidence that science can help us deliver on the elusive dream of drawing the curtain on diseases including Parkinson’s.
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Dear friends of PDF: Thank you. Because of your support, this year PDF invested $5 million in research and $1.1 million for training of health leaders and patient leaders.
If you have read the cover article in the Fall 2015 issue of our newsletter, News & Review, you already know that PDF has created a strategic plan to strengthen and accelerate our fight to advance the cure, and care, of Parkinson’s disease. As I enter my 20th anniversary year as chief executive officer of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, the new plan is both sobering and exciting.
How do we capture rising stars in science and encourage them to focus their attention on Parkinson’s? This is a question that PDF — in its quest to help solve, treat and end PD — has been evaluating since its creation 60 years ago. In fact, PDF’s focus on catching rising stars in PD is the reason why we have prioritized funding for the training of early-career neurologists — more than 100 of them over the years — in PD research and care. It is also the reason we have supported the research of more than 250 early-career basic scientists over the same… Read More
A year or so after President Obama personally announced his signature initiative to create a public-private partnership to improve our understanding of the infrastructure of the human brain, the White House convened 250 of us to hear a report card and plans on progress to date. I was invited — wearing my two hats as President of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation and Chair of the American Brain Coalition — to attend the September 30 meeting, along with other leaders of the multi-million dollar effort, including those from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) neurology and mental health institutes, neuroscientists, industry reps, professional… Read More
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.