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Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $2 Million for Research on Cognitive and Mood Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease
Date:10/14/2008

NEW YORK, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research awarded a total of $2 million to five research teams to speed development of effective therapies for the under-addressed cognitive and mood-related symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Patients often report these symptoms, which range from problems with executive function (the ability to formulate, sequence, and execute plans) to dementia; depression, apathy and anxiety; and behavioral issues including problems with impulse control, to be among the most difficult aspects of living with PD.

The funding will support pre-clinical and clinical research projects under the Foundation's Cognitive Deficits and Mood Disorders in Parkinson's Disease initiative, made possible by generous leadership funding from Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

"Clinicians and patients alike report how disabling the cognitive and mood effects of PD can be, yet these symptoms are systematically under-researched and are poorly understood," said Katie Hood, CEO of The Michael J. Fox Foundation. "We are thrilled to have found a like-minded partner in Merck Serono so that we can push this work forward."

Elmar Schnee, President of Merck Serono, said: "Merck Serono recognizes the critical need for new therapies to alleviate PD-related cognitive dysfunction. We are pleased to stand side by side with The Michael J. Fox Foundation in prioritizing and supporting research with potential to help speed development of effective treatments that will allow every patient to live a fuller and more satisfying life."

The development of treatments for cognitive and mood symptoms of Parkinson's has been hindered by a lack of preclinical models to explain these features of the disease; a lack of basic knowledge of the mechanisms that underlie these symptoms; inadequate understanding of the clinical features of these symptoms in PD; and a need for relevant clinica
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SOURCE Michael J. Fox Foundation
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