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Local man turns Parkinson's diagnosis into mission to find a cure
Date:12/14/2011

Nearly 1.5 million Americans are living with Parkinson's disease, a slowly progressing neurodegenerative brain disorder. The disease, which has been linked to a lack of dopamine in the brain, causes symptoms including tremor, slowness of movement, muscle stiffness and balance problems. Since there is currently no cure for Parkinson's disease, most patients focus on working with their physician to find a treatment plan that preserves their quality of life while minimizing the symptoms of the disease. For Paul Ruby, this was not enough.

Ruby set out on a personal journey to help find a cure after being diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson's in 2006. He founded the Paul Ruby Foundation for Parkinson's Research which raises funds to support Northwestern Medicine researchers who are working to find better treatments, and ultimately a cure at Northwestern's Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center. The center is the only National Parkinson's Foundation (NPF) Center of Excellence in Illinois and provides innovative, multidisciplinary care, while also conducting research studies to expand knowledge and treatment of movement disorders.

"Being diagnosed with Parkinson's was scary and shocking; it still is to some extent," said Ruby, who lives in Geneva, Ill. "With this foundation, I'm trying to make a positive out of it. It's been very therapeutic for me to be involved with the process of helping to fund research and spreading awareness."

To date, the Paul Ruby Foundation has contributed more than $325,000 to Parkinson's research at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, including a recent gift of $100,000 to fund two research projects in 2012.

"The value of the Paul Ruby Foundation's support is immeasurable," said Tanya Simuni, MD, director of the Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center, neurologist at Northwestern Memorial and associate professor of neurology at
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Contact: Megan McCann
memcann@nmh.org
312-926-5900
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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