Blogging with Parkinson's

A personal perspective on Young Onset Parkinson's

“There is no Department or Secretary of Cures. It’s us.”

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Michael J. Fox is calling for volunteers to participate in medical studies. His statement appears in the Democrat and Chronicle, a daily newspaper from Rochester, New York; he also refers to the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative, a study that is seeking a biomarker for Parkinson’s. Researchers at the University of Rochester are participating in this important study.

Fox says,

You may not have a personal connection to Parkinson’s, but rest assured the need for biomarkers — and for collaborative efforts to speed cures — touches everyone. Some of  last year’s most exciting science emerged from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, a study similar to the Parkinson’s initiative that in a few years identified extremely promising biomarker candidates for Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s research demonstrated that when communities work together on collaborative research efforts, results come faster.

It’s good to know that researchers in different fields are collaborating. It reminds me of that beer commercial where various utilities collaborated on road works instead of digging up the road umpteen times…

Research is not always intrusive; some studies only require DNA samples; others are centred around questionnaires. And Parkinson’s research often requires volunteers without Parkinson’s to represent the population at large.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation has an online “trial finder” for interested parties in the US. Here in the UK, Parkinson’s UK offers a similar service.

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