Engaging on Parkinson’s

Engaging on Parkinson’s

04.30.14 | By Leslie Chambers

As we continue to celebrate Parkinson’s Awareness Month with our recent Medicines in Development for Parkinson’s Disease report and our Conversations forum with leaders from the Parkinson’s community, today we also have a guest post from another voice in the community. Leslie Chambers, the President and CEO of the American Parkinson Disease Association  discusses the impact of engaging patients, physicians, and scientists in the research process. 


People with Parkinson’s disease, and those of us who work the Parkinson’s community on a daily basis, know the importance of continuing – and accelerating – scientific research.  In order to delay disease progression, find better treatments and, ultimately, find a cure, we must recruit the best and brightest physicians and scientists to treat and study Parkinson’s disease.  

We know that the majority of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease do not ever see a movement disorders specialist and never participate in a clinical trial. Patient advocacy groups like ours can make an impact in this regard by engaging patients, physicians, and scientists in the research process. 

The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA), in keeping with its dual mission, “To Ease the Burden – To Find the Cure,” contributes to the future of Parkinson’s disease research and treatment in two primary ways.  First, our fellowship awards encourage more clinicians to consider movement disorders as a specialty. APDA, through its network of Information & Referral Centers, helps connect patients to a movement disorders specialist in their area. Specialized Parkinson’s care increases the likelihood that the patient will live a longer, healthier and more productive and.

While improving life for individuals and families currently managing Parkinson’s disease, APDA’s Scientific Advisory Board provides annual grants to some of the country’s most promising researchers. It has been our experience that the majority of APDA grant award recipients go on to qualify for larger, NIH-funded studies. 

We are proud to have been involved in most major scientific breakthroughs in PD to date and anticipate being involved in those that one day lead to a cure.  In the meantime, we educate and support the Parkinson’s community and increase awareness of the disease.  Throughout the month of April, Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month, APDA is encouraging people to get involved, perhaps in ways they’ve not been involved before.  For ideas about how you can increase awareness or learn more about research or patient services, visit our website (www.apdaparkinson.org).

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