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Making Parkinsonís Disease an International Health Priority

International Forum tackles policies, science and health care at the World Parkinson Congress

Read an update below from the World Parkinson Congress 2013. PDF President Robin Anthony Elliott and other leaders at the World Parkinson Policy Forum are working together to make Parkinson's disease an international health priority. PDF helped lay the groundwork for the World Parkinson Coalition in 2004 and is now a WPC 2013 Silver Sponsor.


From World Parkinson Coalition:

Montreal, October 1, 2013 — Setting the stage for the third triennial World Parkinson Congress, the inaugural World Parkinson Policy Forum outlined a strategy to make Parkinson's an international health priority. Over the past two days, the forum grappled with the increasing economic burden of the disease — due to shifting demographics — shared potential solutions, and practical models for improving care. Sixty worldwide representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), stakeholders, and experts specializing in Parkinson's issues stressed the importance of creating a coordinated global policy that recognizes Parkinson's as a serious health, social, and economic issue.

"With the economic burden of Parkinson's disease and the need for services and support increasing exponentially due to the world's aging population, it was imperative to create a global sharing and learning platform," said Joyce Gordon, president and CEO of Parkinson Society Canada. "During the last two days, people from every continent shared models that work well in their respective countries and our hope is that attendees effectively implement what they've learned. This was the first step in raising global awareness about the looming growth of Parkinson's disease and the importance of treating it with the utmost seriousness."

Forum participants agreed that all aspects of Parkinson's need to be on every government's agenda in order to raise the research bar, to create an innovative collaborative environment for finding a cure, and to improve the quality of treatment and support for people living with the disease.

"This marks the first time that professionals outside of the scientific community have assembled to consider matters of mutual interest related to Parkinson's," said Robin Anthony Elliott, President of the Parkinson's Disease Foundation in the US. "There have been scientific meetings for decades, but the full extent of Parkinson's impact, including its implications for public policy, has never been discussed in this manner and with this level of participation. It was time to have this conversation and the World Congress was the perfect opportunity to create a dialogue that went beyond science and crossed national borders."

The delegates agreed that more collaboration will better meet the needs of people living with Parkinson's around the world — sharing new data, sharing innovative models of care to improve access and quality of care. Work will continue under the leadership of the World Parkinson Congress and guided by people living with Parkinson's.

The recommendations resulting from the World Parkinson Policy Forum will be available in a report published in the next few months and distributed internationally.


About Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease is a progressive brain disease that affects one in every 300 adults and approximately seven to 10 million people worldwide. In Canada, there are over 100,000 Canadians with Parkinson's, according to the Parkinson Society Canada. Parkinson's is caused by a loss of dopamine in the brain — the symptoms occur when dopamine-producing cells die. Over time, individuals may experience a decreased ability to walk, talk, and swallow. It is estimated that 80 per cent of people with Parkinson's disease will eventually develop dementia.

About World Parkinson Coalition
The World Parkinson Coalition Inc. is a New York-based charitable organization dedicated to providing an international forum for the latest scientific discoveries, medical practices and caregiver initiatives related to Parkinson's disease. By bringing physicians, scientists, allied health professionals, caregivers and people with Parkinson's together, WPC Inc. hopes to create a worldwide dialogue to expedite the discovery of a cure and best treatment practices for this devastating disease. For more information: www.worldpdcongress.org.

Parkinson Society Canada Hosts the World at WPC 2013
Parkinson Society Canada is the national voice of Canadians living with Parkinson's disease. A charitable organization founded in 1965, its vision is a better life with a brighter future for Canadians living with Parkinson's today, a world without Parkinson's tomorrow. Parkinson Society Canada, with a network of partners including Parkinson Society Québec, funds discovery research and provides education, support, and advocacy on behalf of over 100,000 Canadians living with Parkinson's. For more information: www.parkinson.ca.

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Source Date: Oct 03 2013