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
Several months ago, I broached the issue of direct-to-consumer genetic testing in PD. There, my message was that you should look before you leap and take the time to understand what genetic testing would tell you (and whether you really wanted to know it). Implicit in that discussion is the need to have accurate results. This is different than the desire to have the weather forecaster tell you if it is going to rain or not tomorrow. For most people, inaccurate weather predictions are a nuisance more than anything.
Last month, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke stopped one of the largest clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease to date. This trial was investigating whether a nutritional supplement, creatine, might have potential to treat Parkinson’s disease.
From James Beck, Ph.D., Director of Research Programs This blog is part two in a series of three about the BigBrain. Several weeks ago saw the announcement of a description of a new and highly detailed atlas of the brain, called BigBrain. PDF wrote about how one person, making the decision to donate their brain, has made a significant contribution to science. Indeed, that is true. But what does this really mean for the future of neuroscience … and Parkinson’s research?
When opening the Sunday Review section of the New York Times this past weekend, I did a double-take as a topic of much discussion here at PDF was featured front and center – trumping commentary on the state of the economy, international relations and the latest political debate. “Do Clinical Trials Work?,” by Clifton Leaf serves as a primer on some of the key issues that prevail within the clinical research enterprise – the tension between scientific inquiry and patient priorities; the odds that study sponsors take when betting on the success of a potential therapy; and the disconnect between those who… Read More
Just a few weeks ago, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s grants review committee – comprising scientists and patient advocates – took on the task of deciding which of the 200 research grant applications we received would be approved for funding. PDF had the resources to fund only 10 worthy projects. Researchers working on innovative, viable projects continually face the challenge of limited available funding. And funders, such as government agencies and foundations like PDF, have to make difficult choices based on available resources. How can PDF meet the challenge to find sufficient funds to support the most promising research in tough economic… Read More