Recent research has found commonalities among the biochemical mechanisms and/or anatomical manifestations that lead to symptoms across several neurological conditions.  For example, the c-Abl tyrosine kinase, well-known in the cancer community, has recently been implicated in one of the biochemical pathways leading to Parkinson’s disease by Ted Dawson, M.D. Ph.D., at Johns Hopkins, an NPF Center of Excellence.  Conversely, there seem to be anatomical similarities in the structural impact of PD’s -synuclein-associated dementia and that associated with the protein tau.  Many of these common pathways are currently in the early stages of understanding.

The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) is organizing a symposium to bring together basic scientists currently doing research into the biological pathways that result in these symptoms, to consider targets for therapy, and to strategize around advancing the knowledge from research to practice.  The purpose of the symposium will be to bring researchers together, present ideas on promising avenues of research likely to produce targets for therapies, and develop a consensus on the most promising of these.

Organized by symptom rather than biological pathway, the discussion will be tailored to focus the conversation on translation of basic science to clinical therapy.  Targeting symptomatic relief, the program will not just engage researchers who specialize in Parkinson’s disease but rather will draw on investigators who target pathways to disease that may be common across conditions.

The XI NPF Symposium on PD: Targeting Non-Motor Symptoms will be held November 10-11 and will serve as a satellite meeting to the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, DC. Registration will be limited to 200 persons. For more information, visit

Posted: 10/24/2011 6:06:50 AM by Cathy Whitlock

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