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Putting Knowledge To Work

By Wendy Killeen, Globe Correspondent

After Sue Dubman of Tewksbury was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2009, she says she spent a year in denial.

But it wasn't long before she put to work her 15 years of professional experience in the health care and life sciences field.

In 2010, she participated in the Parkinson's Disease Foundation's annual three-day research advocacy training.

As part of a network of volunteer research advocates, she partners with scientists working on the front lines to find new treatments for the disease.

Parkinson's is a progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly 1 million people in the United States, according to the foundation. Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure.

This week, Dubman is in Montreal for the World Parkinson Congress, where she is speaking to the international Parkinson's community about the role of patients in research.

The title of her presentation is "Enabling Research Through Informatics: A Researcher Turned Patient's Point of View."

"People living with Parkinson's can't wait 15 to 20 years or more for new drugs to come out of the pipeline," said Dubman. "Time is our most precious commodity. During my session at the World Parkinson Congress, I hope to educate others on ways we can improve trials."

She joins 3,500 world-renowned scientists, doctors, people with Parkinson's, care partners, and allied health professionals from 44 countries attending the congress.

"Our philosophy is to empower stakeholders — the people who live with Parkinson's — to play a role in advancing research," said PDF President Robin Anthony Elliott. "Ms. Dubman's leadership at the third World Parkinson Congress and in her community is a driving force in our mission to find better treatments and a cure for Parkinson's as soon as possible."

Call (800) 457-6676, e-mail, or visit For more on the congress, visit

Source Date: Oct 03 2013
Source Publication: Boston Globe
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