Parkinson’s Foundation Presents Nine Research Studies at International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders

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MIAMI & NEW YORK – September 15, 2020 – The Parkinson’s Foundation presented nine posters with key findings in research, care and education at the International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders which took place online from September 12 to 16. The Foundation was invited to participate in the Congress’ virtual Guided Poster Tour as one of 16 posters presented to attendees.

Each year, the top experts in Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders gather for the Congress to collaborate on new ideas and share knowledge that can advance the Parkinson’s disease (PD) field. The Parkinson’s Foundation presented on topics most requested by the broader Parkinson’s community.

The first study, titled Weeding Through the Haze: A Survey on Cannabis Use Among People with Parkinson’s Disease, highlights the Foundation’s survey on medical cannabis use for people with PD. It also focused on the attitudes towards and experiences with medical cannabis among those living with PD. More about medical cannabis use and PD can be found at Parkinson.org/Marijuana.

PD Conversations: Creation of an Online Parkinson’s Community, focuses on a survey that was distributed to 1,937 registered PD Conversations community users six months after its January 2020 launch to assess community satisfaction with and perceived value of virtual support.

The third study, titled Measuring Unmet Need in Underserved Parkinson’s Populations, focuses on a partnership with Allison Willis, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and the PD and Movement Disorder Center, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence to carry out one of the largest paper-based surveys ever conducted of underserved PD populations from across the United States.

Educating Spanish-speaking Communities About Parkinson’s Research Participation and Genetics: A Community Health Worker (Promotores) Model for Outreach outlines a project with Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, a Center of Excellence, and promotores organizations from the Southwest to create a first-of-its-kind program ― a standardized Spanish-language training program about PD for 50 promotores. The study tracked how the information changed promotores’ perspectives on genetics and research in the PD community and assessed the quality of the training.

The fifth poster, titled Creating Competencies for Exercise Professionals Working with People with Parkinson’s Disease, highlights the exercise convening hosted by the Parkinson’s Foundation in March 2020. Key findings from the top experts who attended the convening were showcased, along with recommendations for PD exercise guidelines and models of education for exercise professionals who work with PD communities.

Parkinson’s Foundation Physical Therapy Faculty Program Evaluation focuses on the training program developed by the Foundation in 2016 for physical therapy (PT) faculty who want to develop skills in teaching entry-level PT students about Parkinson’s. The study notes significant advances in physical therapy knowledge specific to PD, improved confidence teaching about PD and treating people with PD and highlights the benefits of PT faculty training.

The seventh study, titled The Future of Hospitalization for People with Parkinson's Disease, summarizes the results from the Foundation’s Parkinson’s Hospitalization convening held on December 6, 2019. With estimated annual costs of hospital inpatient services for PD at $7.19 billion, the study outlines recommendations for creating a nationally recognized standard of care that helps reduce hospital visits and costs for people with PD. 

Improving Hospital Outcomes through the Aware in Care Ambassador Program highlights data collected through monthly reports submitted electronically by 81 Parkinson’s Foundation Aware in Care Ambassadors from March 2019 through March 2020. The objective was to analyze the impact of the Ambassador program in accomplishing three goals regarding hospitalization of people with Parkinson’s: educate the community, educate clinicians who treat Parkinson’s and educate hospital staff.

Finally, The Care Partner Perspective: Most Challenging Parkinson’s Symptoms, looks at the challenges that care partners face as they support a loved one with PD. The poster recaps and analyzes responses from 2020 Care Partner Summit | Cumbre Para Cuidadores registrants.

To view and learn more about the posters presented by the Parkinson’s Foundation at the Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders read our latest blog post. Find more about the Parkinson’s Foundation commitment to the Parkinson’s community at Parkinson.org.

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About the Parkinson’s Foundation

The Parkinson’s Foundation makes life better for people living 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 (800) 4PD-INFO (473-4636).

About Parkinson’s Disease

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 and anxiety). 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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