Tag Archives: research initiatives

What’s In a Number? PDF Parkinson’s Prevalence Project

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 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

Notes from a Day Spent Listening to Scientists Judging PDF Research Applications

Last Friday, March 16, was the occasion for reviewing applications for PDF’s International Research Grants program and Research Fellowships programs. Before us were some 30 proposals from some of the best young (and not-so-young) scientific investigators in the world. As I sat there in the meeting as an observer, listening to the members of our scientific review committee as they made their comments and pronounced their judgments, I found myself scribbling notes on what seemed to be the principles on which they were basing their decisions. What they were saying, it seemed to me, said a lot about how we… read more Read More

PDF Research Advocates in Action

Last week, Dr. Beck discussed the role of PDF Research Advocates in PDF’s grant review. As he said, “These people, PDF’s Research Advocates, part of the Parkinson’s Advocates in Research program, insure what we will fund is not just the best for science’s sake but for the sake of people too.” Wondering what exactly our PDF Research Advocates do? We want them to tell you in our own words. Last year, PDF was able to steal a few minutes from Research Advocates Becky and Tom, in the midst of grant review. They were kind enough to explain their work in… read more Read More