Scientists are making inroads because thousands of people with Parkinson’s and their family members have donated their brains to science, including to PDF-supported programs at Columbia University Medical Center and Rush University Medical Center.
PDF Grant Programs
Are you interested in furthering Parkinson's science? View PDF's open grant programs.
2008 Research Highlights
In 2008, with your help, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) funded $5.5 million in scientific research in the search for a cure for Parkinson’s disease (PD).
What impact did your dollars make on our progress? Here are a few exciting highlights.
Your Dollars at Work: Highlights from 2008
- Scientists at Columbia University are studying the GBA gene (the beta-glucocerebrosidase gene, which is located on chromosome 1) and believe that it may be one of the major culprits in early-onset Parkinson's. Their findings may provide important insights into both early-onset Parkinson's specifically and the development of Parkinson's disease overall.
- Marina Emborg, M.D., Ph.D., and Su-Chun Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, are using cutting-edge technology to turn adult skin cells into dopamine neurons - the brain cells that are lost in Parkinson's - and test their potential as a treatment for Parkinson's. This pilot investigation into 'personalized medicine,' may one day become the basis for new Parkinson's therapies.
- Sandra M. Lynch, Ph.D., M.Sc., M.B.A., of the Wadsworth Center of the New York State Department of Health, is exploring “intrabodies” (a form of antibodies, called such, because they perform work inside of cells) as another possible therapy for Parkinson's. She is engineering intrabodies to see if they prevent clumping of the protein, alpha-synuclein, which leads to the formation of Lewy bodies - already known as a hallmark of Parkinson's disease. Just one of 19 scientists funded through PDF's International Research Grants Program, Dr. Lynch believes this method may stop Parkinson's in its tracks.