The Parkinson's & Movement Disorder Foundation (PMDF)
Newsletter - Winter 2012
Dear friends of PMDF,
Thank you to all who helped make our 2012 fundraiser a success: the fundraising committee, the silent auction donors, and those of you who attended (and maybe bid in the auction). It was a beautiful evening, the food was good, there were some great items in the silent auction, and the racing was exciting. Previous fundraisers have enabled us to support projects such as those reported on in Mary Ann Chap-man’s article in this newsletter. This year, we have again received several research proposals, and the board of advisors will soon be deciding which we will fund. Alt-hough most of our research money comes from the Zent-a-thon and the fall fundraiser, individual dona-tions are important, too. There is still time to make a donation that can be deducted for this tax year. Thanks again for your support!
Parkinson’s on the web
In previous newsletters I wrote about the Parkinson’s Voice Initiative (http://www.parkinsonsvoice.org), a research project to refine and quantify a means of assessing Parkinson’s disease by changes in the voice, and the 23andme Parkinson Gene Study (http://www.23andme.com/ParkinsonGeneStudy), a DNA analy-sis study seeking to advance our understanding of the role of genetics in Parkinson’s. Everyone can par-ticipate in the voice study with a short anonymous phone call. Those who have Parkinson’s can have their DNA analyzed and participate in the research at no charge. These are both easy ways to contribute data to help our understanding and treatment of this disease.
There’s an interesting development in the area of exercise and Parkinson’s. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, have developed video games that help Parkinson’s victims. The games are “similar to Wii and Kinect games, in which subjects win points by moving their bodies in certain ways.” The movements required are designed specifically to help people with the symptoms of Parkinson’s Dis-ease. In large part, they are just a way to get people to exercise, but that’s a significant accomplishment. Google “video gaming UCSF” to read the press release and watch some videos.
http://ted.com has an interview with artist Tom Shannon (search the site for Tom Shannon and choose “The painter and the pendulum.”) Mr. Shannon has Parkinson’s, and the tremor in his left (dominant) hand is quite evident. This is not the focus of the piece, but there is some discussion of it near the end of the interview.
And on a completely unrelated note, I really enjoyed the TED talk by Philippe Petit, the man who walked a tightwire between the Twin Towers.
Have a happy holiday season!
Accomplishments of 2011 PMDF Award Winners
by Mary Ann Chapman, Ph.D..
Several of the PMDF Grant Award winners from 2011 have notified us of important milestones in their research. Dr. Kathleen Maguire-Zeiss from Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington DC has just published the results of her study entitled “Microglial Activation and Antioxidant Responses Induced by the Parkinson’s Disease Protein α-Synuclein.” This article appeared the October 2012 issue of Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, and Dr. Maguire-Zeiss publicly credits the PMDF at the end of the article as one of her sources of research support. Dr. Maguire-Zeiss has expressed her gratitude to the PMDF and we are proud to see her research moving forward.
The PMDF has also received information from Dr. David Charles and his student Anna L. Molinari from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville about the many conference presentations they have given this year. Their work on orthostatic hypotension in Parkinson’s disease has been presented at several high-profile medical meetings, including the American Academy of Neurology, the American Neurological Association, and the International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders. They are planning to submit the results of their studies for publication in the biomedical literature early next year.
Our third award winner from 2011, Dr. Ioanna Armata from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, has also recently published results related to her dystonia studies. Her article entitled “Allelic Imbalance in TOR1A mRNA Expression in Manifesting and Non-Manifesting Carriers of the GAG-Deletion in the Journal of Nucleic Acids” was published this year in the Journal of Nucleic Acids. Dr. Armata is still pursuing the research funded by the PMDF, which concerns single nucleotide alterations within certain controller genes associated with dystonia.
We wish all of these investigators well and congratulate them on achieving these important milestones in their research. The PMDF also thanks all of you who attended our annual fundraiser and/or donated throughout the year. Your contributions make it possible for us to support research into the basic science of movement disorders that moves us steadily toward better treatments for these conditions.
From 2004 - 2009
What research has PMDF supported with the fundraiser?
The Parkinson's & Movement Disorder Foundation relies upon its Board of Directors to maintain the vision, promote the mission, and support the Parkinson's disease community of the Southern California.
These are the people who work daily to carry out NPF's mission:
Board of Directors
- Mark Wadsworth, President
- Mary Ann Chapman, PhD., V.P.
- Jon Cicchetti, Treasurer
- Karen Zent, Secretary
- Kellie Binder, R.N., M.S.N.
- Timothy L. Neufeld
- Paul Williams
- Deborah Wilson
- Kenneth Garrison
- Linda Sonnonstine Spery
Honorary Advisory Board
- Hon. Loretta Sanchez
- Tom Railsback, Ret. U.S. Congressman
- Victor Tsao
- Daniel D. Truong, MD
- Victor Passy, MD
- Vi Tran