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The Parkinson's Disease Foundation Commemorates its 50th Anniversary with Special Scientific Symposium on Parkinson's Disease

NEW YORK, Oct. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To mark 50 years of service to the Parkinson's community, the Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF) will present an authoritative round-up of the state of Parkinson's research at a two-day symposium on Thursday, October 11 and Friday, October 12. The jam-packed program will feature 43 top-notch Parkinson's professionals presenting the latest news in Parkinson's science and quality of life initiatives.

The meeting, entitled Frontiers of Science and Clinical Advances in Quality of Life, will be open to everyone touched by Parkinson's disease including researchers, clinicians, allied health professionals, people with Parkinson's and caregivers. It is being jointly sponsored by PDF and The Movement Disorders Society and will be held in the historic South Street Seaport district of lower Manhattan.

The Scientific Program Committee, led by PDF's Scientific Director, Stanley Fahn, M.D., the H. Houston Merritt Professor of Neurology and Director of the Center for Parkinson's Disease and Other Movement Disorders at Columbia University, will cover a wide range of topics including epidemiology, biomarkers for PD, neuroprotection and gene therapy. "This is going to be a comprehensive review of where we have been and where we are going in Parkinson's research, presented by premier neuroscientists in the field," said Dr. Fahn.

The Clinical Advances in Quality of Life Program Committee is led by Lucien Cte, M.D., Professor of Neurology at Columbia University, and Karen Marder, M.D., M.P.H., the Sally Kerlin Professor of Neurology at Columbia University. "With a disease like Parkinson's, where everyone's case is unique, it is crucial to realize how it affects day-to-day living. These are the issues that we are going to focus on, the issues that can make a real difference in the way a person lives," said Dr. Cte. Specifically, sessions will focus on the preclinical diagnosis of Parkinson's disease; respiratory, gastrointestinal, urological and sexual issues; sleep disorders; caregiver support and the therapeutic effect of exercise.

A high point of the event will be the presentation, at a celebratory dinner following the first day's program, of the James Parkinson Award, PDF's highest honor, which is given only once each decade. This year, the award will go to Dr. Stanley Fahn, in recognition of his lifetime of achievement as a scientist and clinician in Parkinson's disease.

At the same reception, PDF will present a special 50th Anniversary Award for Exemplary Contributions to the Advancement of Parkinson's Science. The award will go jointly to Dr. Alim-Louis Benabid, Chairman of Neurosurgery at Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, and Dr. Mahlon DeLong, Professor of Neurology at Emory University, for their pioneering work in developing deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson's disease.

PDF will also be recognizing Rhona Johnson with the very first Award for Leadership in Caregiving, an honor that will be presented by Lonnie Ali, wife and caregiver of Muhammad Ali. Ms. Johnson became involved with the Parkinson's community through the diagnosis of her now late husband Bob, in 1994, to whom she was sole caregiver.

Seats for the symposium are sold out; however, those who are not able to attend the event may view the symposium for free via webcast by visiting

The symposium is made possible by our generous supporters: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; HealthShares, Inc.; Novartis Pharmaceuticals; UCB, Inc.; GlaxoSmithKline; Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Carol and Melvin Taub and Family; Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America; The Avicena Group; IMPAX Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Medtronic, Inc.; the Medtronic Foundation; PatientsLikeMe, Inc.; Sepracor; Solstice Neurosciences, Inc.; Teva Neuroscience; Vernalis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Biogen Idec; Ceregene, Inc.; GE Healthcare Financial Services; Kyowa Pharmaceutical, Inc.; and

About the Parkinson's Disease Foundation

The Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF) is a leading national presence in Parkinson's disease research, education and public advocacy. We are working for the nearly one million people in the US living with Parkinson's by funding promising scientific research and supporting people with Parkinson's, their families and caregivers through education programs and support services. Since our founding in 1957, PDF has funded over $70 million worth of scientific research in Parkinson's disease, supporting the work of leading scientists throughout the world.

SOURCE Parkinson's Disease Foundation
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