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The Parkinson’s Foundation funds its Advancing Parkinson’s Treatments Program with nearly $500,000 to help move new and improved treatments for the disease from "bench to bedside."

Highlight: Antonio Strafella, M.D., Ph.D., and Mark Stacy, M.D.: Understanding Impulse Control Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease

The Parkinson’s Foundation launched Conference Awards in 2012 as part of "Advancing Parkinson's Treatments" to support gatherings of experts to address emerging clinical or basic science questions about Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Two of the initial recipients were Antonio Strafella, M.D., Ph.D., of Toronto Western Hospital and Mark Stacy, M.D., of Duke University, both Parkinson’s Foundation Centers of Excellence. Together, they used the Parkinson’s Foundation award in conjunction with other funding to gather clinical and preclinical experts from various research backgrounds to develop a strategic plan for studying the debilitating impulse control disorders (ICDs) that affect so many people with PD.

ICDs can be a side effect of dopamine agonist therapy and include binge eating, compulsive gambling or shopping and increased sexual behavior. Held in October 2012, the conference, “Impulse Control Disorders in Parkinson’s Disease,” featured experts from fields including neurology, psychiatry, neurobiology, pharmacology, addiction, neurologic imaging and epidemiology.

This multidisciplinary meeting addressed the spectrum of symptoms associated with ICDs, and generated new ideas for clinical, experimental and translational approaches to better understand ICDs. It also facilitated interaction and collaboration among experts from diverse fields, and developed a network of interested scientists and clinicians to further study the disorder.

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