NEW YORK, Dec. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research has awarded a total of $2 million to five research teams carrying out clinical studies to refine understanding of postural instability and gait disturbances (PIGD) in Parkinson's disease, and help speed the development of urgently needed treatments. The funding was made possible by a generous lead gift from The Edmond J. Safra Foundation, a steadfast supporter of The Michael J. Fox Foundation's mission to speed transformative treatments and a cure for Parkinson's disease.
PIGD encompasses a constellation of Parkinson's symptoms including freezing of gait, difficulty initiating movement, shuffling, falling and other specific problems with balance. No currently available PD treatments alleviate these symptoms. Their biological causes are not well understood and may originate outside the dopamine system, as these symptoms respond inconsistently or not at all to dopamine replacement therapy.
PIGD affects only a subset of Parkinson's patients, but is associated with highly troubling clinical features: a malignant and faster-progressing disease course; increased risk of cognitive deficits and dementia; a greater likelihood of needing to enter a care facility; and risk of falling 10 times higher than that of normal-aging elderly.
As with all MJFF awards, continued funding is dependent on researchers' achieving predetermined milestones. A full list of awardees is below. Grant abstracts and researchers' biosketches are available at www.michaeljfox.org.
Role of the Posterior Parietal Cortex and Pedunculopontine Nucleus in the Pathopysiology of Freezing of Gait: An MRI and TMS study
Julien Cremers, MD, University Hospital of Liege and Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research
The Role of White Matter Pathology in the Development of the Postural Instability and Gait Disturbance (PIGD) Type of Parkinson's disease
Jeffrey Hausdorff, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel
Determining the Neural Correlates of Freezing of Gait in Parkinson's Disease Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)
Simon Lewis, MD, Parkinson's Disease Research Clinic, Brain & Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney, Australia
Relationship between REM Behavior Disorder and Freezing of Gait in Parkinson's Disease
Colum MacKinnon, Ph.D., Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
Neuroanatomical Correlates of Dopamine Responsive and Non-responsive Gait and Balance Impairment in Parkinson's Disease
Wayne Martin, MD, University of Alberta, Canada
The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to ensuring the development of better treatments, and ultimately a cure, for Parkinson's disease through an aggressively funded research agenda. MJFF has funded over $165 million in research to date.
SOURCE Michael J. Fox Foundation
|SOURCE Michael J. Fox Foundation|
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