“I used to be a ‘do-er.’ Now I’m a ‘half do-er.’” These are the words Kris Gjerde, a PDF Advocate from St. Paul, MN, used to explain why she voted for apathy in the Third PDF Community Choice Research Awards survey. She wants solutions so she can keep doing the things she loves. Since the survey launched earlier this month, she and more than 500 people with Parkinson’s and care partners have voted for their research priorities, ranging from sleep issues and anxiety, to gait difficulties and dyskinesia. Why is Kris’ feedback — and yours — so important?
Do you hope for new treatments for PD? At the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, we do. In fact, it’s the reason we exist. But how do we find them? And would you believe me if I told you the fava bean played an important role in the current gold-standard treatment for PD? When we think of finding better PD treatments, we often think of clinical trials — the final stage of research before PD drugs come to market. But there’s a crucial step at the very beginning of the pipeline that makes new drugs possible — basic science. Basic science looks… Read More
April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and at PDF, we thought this would be a great time to catch up with Kristin Ford, a former PDF-funded Summer Fellow, to see how PDF funding helped to jumpstart her career in Parkinson’s research and care. You may remember that last month we caught up with another fellow, Will Johnson, who was also supported through PDF’s Summer Student Fellowship Program, which funds undergraduates and medical students to spend their summers working on PD-related research projects with mentors in the field. Typically, fellowships are offered for 10 weeks with an award of $4,000. Kristin spent her Fellowship… Read More
How did you spend your summer vacation? The students supported by PDF’s Summer Student Fellowship Program — a group that includes undergraduates and medical students — spend their summers working on PD-related research projects with mentors who have expertise in the field. Typically, fellowships are offered for 10 weeks with an award of $4,000. Recently, we sat down with former Fellow Will Johnson, M.S., a pharmacology student at Case Western Reserve University, who was awarded funding in 2013, for a project entitled, “Investigating the role of enzyme mediated neuronal protection in Parkinson’s,” to hear about his summer and what he learned about… Read More
In this Q&A, Anne Newbould, a care partner to her husband with PD, shares her experience being involved in the PDF Community Choice Research Award. Last year, when PDF launched the award by asking, “what is the most pressing question for scientists to solve in PD?” she answered: fatigue. Her research priority was selected from amongst hundreds of submissions. This week, to address the symptom she helped to identify, PDF is bringing together experts and advocates in Chicago, IL. Q. What motivated you to submit your research idea for PDF’s Community Choice Research Award? A. My husband of over 40 years, James, has… Read More
The recent ice bucket challenge that has raised awareness and funds for ALS has been a huge success. What may have been overshadowed by this success is the reporting of the first solid estimate of how many people in the United States live with ALS – 12,187. It may seem like a small number but it helps many – from families to policy makers – understand what we are up against in solving that disease. While the estimates of people living with Parkinson’s disease are much larger than for those with ALS, the fact of the matter is that our community does not exactly know the… Read More