Researching Parkinson’s – a special event

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Published: 29th November 2016

Patients, families and carers came together yesterday (28 November) to attend an exciting afternoon of talks focusing on Parkinson's research.

Hosted jointly between RD-TRC, University College London and CLCH, the 'Parkinson's Knowledge, Power, Treat: a vision for the future' conference welcomed over eighty guests and included a range of talks from eminent speakers in the field of Parkinson's disease research.

In a packed conference room at Edgware Community Hospital, guests heard from researchers, clinicians, and also patients who suffered from Parkinson's disease.

Opening the event, our medical director Dr Joanna Medhurst outlined the importance of research today, especially in seeking to find a cure for Parkinson's disease, and highlighted CLCH's commitment to helping to develop treatments that can be used much earlier in the disease process.

One person in every 500 has Parkinson's and around 127,000 people are living with the disease in the UK, and unfortunately is a progressive disease that has no cure. Many treatments are available that can improve or maintain someone's quality of life, and speakers from UCL, Cure Parkinson's, UCL's Institute of Neurology, Parkinson's UK, and UCL's Queen Square Brain Bank outlined - in their particular areas of work - how they are looking to find treatments to cure the disease.

Talks covered topics including: ensuring that patients are at the forefront of research in the field; a focus on the LRRK2 study (LRRK2 is the greatest known genetic contributor to Parkinson's disease); increasing the awareness of the disease among young people; a look at the importance of studying vision and its link to the disease; and also the topic of brain donation, and how this can aid future breakthroughs.

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Agenda on the day:
  • Update on Parkinson's Research - Genetics and Treatments, Professor Huw Morris - Consultation Neurologist and Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at Royal Free, National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery and UCL
  • Patients are a virtue - shaping research through experiences, Tom Isaacs - Founder of Cure Parkinson's
  • The LRRK2 gene and Parkinson's disease, Dr Mie Rizig - Clinical Research Fellow, Institute of neurology (Queen Square), UCL
  • Young People with Parkinson's: Results from the Parkinson's UK Survey, Luis Perpetuo (1), Sarah Webb (2), Phil Bungay (3) - (1) Head of Involvement and Inclusion, Parkinson's UK, (2) Founder of the South London and Younger Parkinson's Network, (3) coordinator for the Parkinson's UK Medway Working Age Group
  • Vision and Parkinson's disease, Dr Rimona Weil - Clinical Lecturer, National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery and UCL
  • Brain donation; a relative's perspective, Ms Karen Shaw - Nurse Specialist, Queen Square Brain Bank, UCL

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