On February 2, a group of future osteopathic doctors at the Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) hosted Pancakes for Parkinson’s, a breakfast to raise awareness of PD and funds for PDF. The students, who make up the university’s chapter of the national Student Osteopathic Medical Association, welcomed 100 guests and raised $400. In this Q&A, Pranamya Mahankali, chapter leader, shares why the students got involved as PDF Champions, plus we link to a local news cast featuring the students’ efforts.
The start of 2015 has been noteworthy for those with Parkinson’s disease (PD) as two new therapies – Rytary™ and Duopa™ – were approved by the FDA at the start of January. Both therapies are updates to the gold-standard treatment of carbidopa/levodopa for those with PD. Manufacturers of both therapies hope to have the medications available on pharmacy shelves in the next few months.
Yes, carbidopa/levodopa first came into use around 1970. However, these new therapies address a real need that current carbidopa/levodopa or Sinemet cannot meet … and that is good news. PDF has covered what Rytary and Duopa are (check out my videos too on both here and here), but let’s discuss them in detail and find out what makes them different.
Our team found out at the latest meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) meeting in Washington, DC, which took place in November.
At the meeting, PDF’s James Beck, Ph.D., VP for Scientific Affairs, and Beth Vernaleo, Ph.D., Senior Manager, Research Programs, were joined by PDF Research Advocates Todd Hebb and Paul Zimmet, D.D.S., both of whom live with PD. (Drs. Zimmet and Vernaleo are pictured inset).
Thank you, on behalf of the Board of Directors, for those of you who have supported the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation this year, including those who have donated to this month’s special $500,000 challenge. Because of you, we have raised over $150,000 so far toward our goal, and every single gift will be doubled.
As a scientist, your support gives me hope. I spent many years working with the nation’s largest biomedical research agency, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to award billions of dollars in grants for neuroscience research, including Parkinson’s. And I knew of PDF’s reputation for supporting the next generation of clinicians and scientists.
How do you show someone with Parkinson’s that you care? Family and friends often rally around a loved one with PD, showing their support in a variety of ways. During November, which is National Family Caregivers Month, PDF recognizes, “All the Ways Care Partners Care.” Our campaign highlights four diverse stories, including the Hardoby family of Rahway, NJ. Greg Hardoby lives with PD and works with PDF as a volunteer Research Advocate and Champion. Here, he and his daughter Ann Marie discuss how their family copes with PD.
What is the relationship between a person with Parkinson’s disease and his or her caregiver? In a special post written during National Family Caregivers Month, we hear perspectives from Marc Sherman, J.D., a person with PD and Elaine Casavant, R.N., a care partner. Both are members of PDF’s People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council.