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MJFF and Merck Serono (EMD Serono in North America) Join Forces on $2-Million Initiative to Drive Treatments for PD-Related Cognitive Dysfunction and Mood Disorders
Date:12/13/2007

ten associated with PD.

"While treatments for classic forms of depression or anxiety have been developed, little evidence exists that they are optimal when used in Parkinson's patients," said Todd Sherer, PhD, the Foundation's vice president, research programs. "Additionally, while information from other fields must be leveraged in pursuing treatments for PD's cognitive and psychiatric symptoms, simple extrapolation of this knowledge to Parkinson's is not possible -- perhaps due to the pathology of PD and its treatments."

Dr. Sherer noted that MJFF and Merck Serono hope, through their innovative partnership, to encourage Parkinson's scientists to collaborate with researchers from other areas, including psychiatry, in order to capitalize on work already done and to obtain different perspectives on cognitive and psychiatric disorders in Parkinson's disease.

The Foundation will accept proposals for clinical research projects or for basic or translational research in relevant preclinical models of PD. Priorities for funding include:

-- Novel approaches to understanding the pathophysiology of cognitive dysfunction and psychiatric disorders in PD

-- Development and characterization of pre-clinical models for these symptoms

-- Examination of the role of cognitive dysfunction and psychiatric disorders in disease onset, progression and prognosis

-- Development or validation of tools to predict or assess early development of cognitive dysfunction and psychiatric disorders in PD

-- Detailed evaluation of the impact of existing PD treatments on these symptoms

-- Pre-clinical and clinical testing of available and experimental treatments for cognitive dysfunction and psychiatric disturbances in PD patients

A conference call with MJFF Research Programs staff to further clarify the aims and goals of this initiative will be held on Tuesday, January 22, at 12 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time. Researchers
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SOURCE Michael J. Fox Foundation
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