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The Parkinsonís Disease Foundation has announced $700,000 in awards for 20 projects relating to Parkinsonís disease, officials announced today.

The awards, which average $35,000, cover a wide range of basic and applied research initiatives designed to provide clues to understanding the cause, charting the cure and managing the progress of Parkinsonís disease, a degenerative neurological condition that afflicts as many as one million Americans and many more around the world.

Most of the topics to be addressed probe the frontiers of basic science, such as a proposed study of the potential of adult stem cells to replace the dopamine neurons that are lost in Parkinsonís and another on the cellular mechanism underlying deep-brain surgery for the disease. Others, such as a proposed investigation of the role of Parkinsonís-related visual attention and imagery deficits in driving, are more in the nature of applied science.

The awards were announced by Stanley Fahn, M.D., the Foundationís scientific director, following an all-day meeting of the scientific awards committee in New York last Friday. Names of specific awardees are being withheld for a few days while the Foundation verifies that the projects selected do not duplicate those selected by other foundations, including the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsonís Research (which is announcing its own awards this week), the American Parkinson Disease Association and the National Parkinson Foundation.

These new awards, when combined with the earlier ďcenterĒ grants to Columbia University and Cornell University in New York and Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, bring the total of research funds distributed by PDF in the current fiscal year (which ends June 30, 2001) to more than $3 million.

Source Date: Apr 04 2001