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Parkinson's Disease Foundation Invests in Next Generation of Patient Leaders

The Parkinson's Disease Foundation® (PDF®) is pleased to welcome 20 people with Parkinson's disease and care partners to its national research advocacy network. These individuals join more than 325 patient leaders who are helping PDF solve, treat and end Parkinson's disease.

The number of people living with Parkinson's is expected to double by 2030. PDF research investments have advanced our understanding of Parkinson's and improved millions of lives worldwide. But the Parkinson's community lacks the therapies they need most — those that would ease disabling symptoms, and slow or stop the disease. PDF is accelerating these goals by leveraging the strengths of the people with the most at stake — those living with the disease.

"More than a decade ago, PDF recognized that a critical piece of the research equation was missing: the patient," said Veronica Todaro, M.P.H., Vice President, National Programs, PDF. "We had a vision for the future in which people with Parkinson's would be at the forefront of research and today, PDF Research Advocates are making that vision a reality."

This week, the newest PDF Research Advocates are participating in the tenth training for Parkinson's Advocates in Research, a signature program of PDF. Those trained through the program have made strides in advancing patient-centered research and care by advising government on research priorities, collaborating with industry to create models of patient engagement and partnering with academic centers to reach underserved communities.

"As a person living with Parkinson's, I understand the urgency for better treatments and a cure," said Kirk Hall, M.B.A., of Highlands Ranch, CO, a PDF Research Advocate and faculty member for the training. "Having worked on the frontlines with researchers, I want my new colleagues to know this: together, we can create a new model of patient-driven research and care."

This week's training is part of PDF's strategy to end Parkinson's disease by building a team of leaders in science, health care and the patient community, and mobilizing them to work together toward a cure.

About Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly one million people in the US. Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for Parkinson's disease.

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Statement from the Parkinson's Foundation Medical Director, Michael Okun, MD

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NEW YORK & MIAMI The Parkinson's Foundation is pleased to announce a $1.2 million investment in 27 career development and fellowship grants to support the work of promising early career scientists in the field of Parkinson's.

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