Parkinson’s Disease Symposium to provide latest research, feature researcher from Michael J. Fox Foundation

March 31, 2014 | Events, Research, UToday, Medicine and Life Sciences, UTMC
By Meghan Cunningham

The 17th annual Parkinson’s Disease Symposium on Saturday, April 5, will update Toledo-area patients and their families on the latest research toward better treatments and a cure.



Dr. Brian Fiske, vice president of research programs for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, will be the keynote speaker. The symposium, themed “Today’s Research, Tomorrow’s Hope,” will take place at Parkway Place, 2592 Parkway Plaza, Maumee, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Fiske will give his talk at 9:30 a.m.

“The treatment of Parkinson’s disease is quite individualized, so it is extremely important for patients to keep up to date with the latest research and treatment options to meet our goal of making this disease as insignificant as possible in their lives,” said Dr. Lawrence Elmer, professor of neurology and director of the Gardner-McMaster Parkinson Center at The University of Toledo.

“The presence and support of the Michael J. Fox Foundation this year will provide critical and ground-breaking scientific information along with an international perspective of the ongoing work dedicated to defeating this disease. Dr. Fiske’s presentation will be a real informational asset to our attendees.”

Since 2000, the Michael J. Fox Foundation has funded more than $450 million to speed a cure for Parkinson’s disease. As one of nine scientists on staff, Fiske manages a team of research professionals to develop an aggressive and innovative agenda for accelerating research and drug development for Parkinson’s disease.

“Patients have an important role to play both in their own care and in the development of new therapies,” Fiske said. “Attending events like this symposium to educate oneself about the latest research and to learn how individuals can be part of clinical studies is an important action for helping oneself and helping others with Parkinson’s.”

The annual Northwest Ohio Parkinson’s Disease Symposium is held to benefit patients with the degenerative disorder, their families and the community with the latest information about research and treatment options. The symposium attracts more than 400 attendees each year, Elmer said.

Topics to be discussed at the 2014 event include an extended duration levodopa-containing medication awaiting FDA approval and research into a drug that provides benefits similar to high doses of caffeine on controlling Parkinson’s symptoms, but without the stimulant effects, Elmer said. In addition, other new clinical research studies for Parkinson’s treatment will be presented.

The advanced, interdisciplinary and collaborative approach practiced at the Gardner-McMaster Parkinson Center, designed to treat Parkinson’s symptoms through a combination of physical therapy, speech pathology, pharmacy, nursing, neuropsychology, social work and other specialties, also will be discussed, Elmer said.

The symposium is presented by the Gardner-McMaster Parkinson Center at UT and the Parkinson Foundation of Northwest Ohio with support from the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Teva Pharmaceuticals.

The registration deadline for the symposium is Monday, March 31, and space is limited. For additional information or to register, call 419.383.6737.

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