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Parkinson’s Foundation Invests $60,000 to Develop Innovative Models of Patient Engagement

Six Awards Foster Patient-Driven Parkinson’s Research

New York, NY and Miami, FL — The Parkinson’s Foundation is pleased to announce $60,000 in funding for six innovative patient-centered research projects.  The awards, the first of their kind in the Parkinson's community, support patient-scientist teams in their efforts to develop innovative models of patient engagement.  The projects are supported through the Parkinson’s Advocates in Research (PAIR) Leadership Awards.

“As a leader in the patient engagement space, we are proud to support researcher-patient teams who are developing innovative ways of working together,” said John L. Lehr, chief executive officer of the Parkinson’s Foundation.  “It is more critical than ever that we guide research to better meet the needs of our community, and including patient voices is key.”

PAIR Leadership Awards are an extension of Parkinson’s Advocates in Research, a pioneering program established by the Foundation to advance researcher-patient collaborations.  They reflect the foundation’s commitment to targeting research to meet patient needs by building collaborations between scientists and people who live with Parkinson’s disease (PD).  Awards are available for up to $10,000 for patient-centered research projects. 

Among this year’s awardees is a team from Emory University School of Medicine, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence: Madeleine Hackney, PhD, and Ron Wincek, a foundation research advocate who lives with Parkinson’s. Their project, “The DREAMS Team: Galvanizing Research Participation in the Parkinson’s Disease Underserved Community,” aims to train underserved older adults in the PD community to serve as advisers on study teams and to aid recruitment efforts of underserved participants with PD by local clinical trials.

“Over the years, our team has found that patients have valuable and often surprising insights that can improve our work in research, care and support,” said Dr. Hackney. “I applaud the Parkinson's Foundation for investing in our efforts to encourage research participation in underserved communities.”

2017 PAIR Leadership Awards:

  1. Development of a Virtual Case Manager for People with Parkinson’s Disease
    Bastiaan R. Bloem, M.D., Ph.D., Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, Netherlands
    John Andrejack, Parkinson’s Foundation Research Advocate
  2. Optimizing Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program for Accessibility, Feasibility, Comfort, and Effectiveness for People with PD
    Michelle Burack, M.D., Ph.D., and Dan Kinel, University of Rochester Medical Center, Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence
  3. PAIRing up to Address Neuropsychiatric Concerns in Parkinson's Disease
    Jennifer Goldman, M.S., M.Phil., Rush University Medical Center, Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence
    Don Simmonds, Parkinson’s Foundation Research Advocate
  4. The DREAMS Team: Galvanizing Research Participation in the Parkinson’s Underserved Community
    Madeleine Hackney, Ph.D., Molly Perkins, Ph.D., Rebeca Dillard and Ron Wincek, Emory University School of Medicine, Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence
  5. An Investigation of Tracking Technology in the Setting of an Established Exercise Program for Individuals with Parkinson Disease
    Sarah Ingersoll, M.B.A., and Kris Mendenhall, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
  6. Assessment of Changes in Gait Patterns during Cognitive and Visual Dual-Tasking using the Xbox Kinect System
    Joe Signorile, Roberto Chen, University of Miami, Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence

About the Parkinson's Foundation
The Parkinson's Foundation makes life better for people with Parkinson’s disease by improving care and advancing research toward a cure. In everything we do, we build on the energy, experience, and passion of our global Parkinson’s community.  For more information, visit www.parkinson.org or call 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636).

About Parkinson's Disease (PD)
Affecting nearly one million Americans and 10 million worldwide, Parkinson’s disease is the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's and is the 14th-leading cause of death in the United States.  It is associated with a progressive loss of motor control (e.g., shaking or tremor at rest and lack of facial expression), as well as non-motor symptoms (e.g., depression A mood disorder whose symptoms can include a persistent sad or empty mood, feelings of hopelessness or pessimism, irritability and loss of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyable activities. and anxiety A feeling of nervousness, worried thoughts and physical distress.).  There is no cure for Parkinson’s and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States alone.

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