Tag Archives: parkinson’s research

What Makes Us Distinctive? The PDF Way: A Letter from the Executive Director, Winter 2013

What makes PDF distinctive?  As you may remember from September’s post, I am now answering such questions in my introductory letter for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s quarterly newsletters, and posting them on the PDF blog, so we can begin a conversation with you. In PDF’s recently published Winter 2013 issue, I discussed what makes us distinctive, what we call The PDF Way. How does it play out in our programs? The PDF Way In our research portfolio, The PDF Way means supporting the creative ideas brought to us by scientific teams and individuals — peer-reviewed and time-tested. We provide long-term support to… read more Read More

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Science Reporting in Parkinson’s

Will eating berries lessen your risk of Parkinson’s? What about coffee? What’s the real story on coconut oil? Is deep brain stimulation a miracle surgery? All of us, whether or not we live Parkinson’s, are faced each day with a barrage of headlines about what might help or harm our health. After such headlines appear, PDF often receives an influx of inquiries asking: Does this new drug/therapy/compound help Parkinson’s? Is this new drug a cure? When will this new breakthrough be available? The Good News Scientists all over the world are conducting research into Parkinson’s. They are publishing their work… read more Read More

Understanding the Progression of Parkinson’s

Can you predict the progression of Parkinson’s? … or change its course? Last Tuesday, during PDF’s PD ExpertBriefing, “Understanding the Progression of Parkinson’s,” presenter Dr. Ron Pfeiffer had a few suggestions: Dr. Pfeiffer provided facts about PD progression – about the percentage of people with PD who develop certain symptoms or leave their jobs after a certain number of years – but also emphasized that these are general facts.  Each person’s journey with Parkinson’s is very different. He noted that there are no treatments proven to reverse PD, but he also emphasized there are actions people can take, such as… read more Read More

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