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Promise of Science, Power of the Individual

Originally Presented on May 10, 2011
Led by Stanley Fahn, M.D., and Lisa M. Shulman, M.D.

Thank you for joining, "Parkinson’s Disease: The Promise of Science, The Power of the Individual."

Watch this Online Seminar

Browse the links below to learn more about this seminar:

Educational Seminar Program & Presentation Slides

Welcoming Remarks:  1:00 PM - 1:05 PM EDT
Stanley Fahn, M.D.

The Promise of Science:  1:05 PM - 2:05 PM EDT
J. W. Langston, M.D.

This talk will focus on potential future developments in the study of Parkinson’s disease over the next 10 years. Based on current research, Dr. Langston will share information showing that by the end of the next decade, PD will be considered part of a much broader symptom complex and that all of these different symptoms will be connected by a common underlying pathological process. Dr. Langston will discuss the potential of new technologies to screen the general population for Parkinson’s before disabling symptoms develop. He will explore the possible development of safe “disease modifying therapies” over the next decade and the likelihood that we will be able to intervene therapeutically to slow or halt the disease and therefore be able prevent PD as we know it today.

He will talk about the future of genetic testing, by means of which anyone who is interested in doing so will be able to determine his or her individual risk for PD by simply providing a saliva sample and taking a series of surveys online. Dr. Langston will discuss risk factor screens that will take into account both increasingly available genetic data and the ability to survey environmental factors online.

He will refer to other disease states, such as heart disease and stroke, for which individuals can visit web-based sites such as WebMD to determine their risk for these health problems by filling out questionnaires, and how this could be the future for Parkinson’s disease.

Download Dr. Fahn's Presentation Slides

The Power of the Individual: 2:25 PM -  3:25 PM EDT
Lisa M. Shulman M.D.

This talk will focus on how the individual with Parkinson’s disease can help determine disease outcomes. Based on current scientific research in several areas over the past decade Dr. Shulman will look at areas including the study of self-efficacy for self-management of PD (that is, a person’s confidence in his or her ability to manage the condition) as well as the level of self-management skills people with Parkinson’s can engage in. Dr. Shulman will also look at the integration of patient-reported data into routine clinical practice – for example, how shared decision-making, empowerment and resilience among people with Parkinson’s can utilize or tap into to living a higher quality of life. One focus of the talk will be an area over which each person has total control – namely, exercise and physical activity – and how the practice of regular exercise can have a profound difference on the health and well-being of a person who has been diagnosed with PD.

Download Dr. Shulman's Presentation Slides

Closing Remarks:  3:25 PM - 3:30 PM EDT
Robin Elliott, Executive Director of PDF


Join Online

The webinar will be available to view online for up to one year starting Friday, May 13, 2011.  This webinar can be accessed from any computer with high-speed Internet access, worldwide, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. After each presentation is archived, speakers will not be able to answer questions as they can during a live webinar recording, but each presentation can be viewed as often as needed.


Faculty Biographies

Stanley Fahn, M.D.Stanley Fahn, M.D.

Dr. Stanley Fahn is the H. Houston Merritt Professor of Neurology at Columbia University and directs the university’s Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Other Movement Disorders.  He is past President of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and co-founder of both The Movement Disorder Society (MDS) and the Parkinson Study Group (PSG).  

His contributions to Parkinson’s science include work on organizing and executing the development of the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale, and ground-breaking work on the ELLDOPA project.  This study discovered that levodopa does not hasten the clinical progression of Parkinson’s disease, as some scientists had feared, and may actually slow it down.  For this work, Dr. Fahn was awarded the Annemarie Opprecht Foundation’s Parkinson Award for 2005, given every three years to the authors of the most outstanding papers published in Parkinson’s research.  In addition to publishing research, he sees a full schedule of patients, runs conferences, participates in dozens of scientific panels and supervises a group of talented postdoctoral fellows, the future leaders of his field.

Since 1973, Dr. Fahn has served as PDF’s Scientific Director, playing an integral role in shaping PDF’s research and education programs.  He was also Chair of the first two World Parkinson Congresses in 2006 in Washington, DC, and 2010 in Glasgow, Scotland which provided an international forum for the best scientific discoveries, medical and rehabilitation practices and care partner initiatives related to Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Fahn is widely regarded as the leading figure in the Parkinson’s community worldwide.


J. William Langston, M.D., Presenter for a Parkinson's Educational Seminar

J. William Langston, M.D.

Dr. J. William Langston is the Scientific Director, Chief Executive Officer, and Founder of the Parkinson's Institute, located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Medicine, he served as a faculty member at Stanford University and Chairman of Neurology at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, California before founding the Parkinson’s Institute. He is internationally recognized for the discovery of the link between a chemical known as MPTP and parkinsonism, which has provided a new tool to study Parkinson’s disease and also stimulated great interest in the possibility that environmental factors may play a role in causing the disease. His current research interests include the study of mechanisms of neuronal degeneration, the etiology of Parkinson’s disease, and the development of new strategies to slow or halt disease progression.

Dr. Langston published over 350 papers on Parkinson’s disease and related disorders and has received many awards for his work, including the Movement Disorders Research Award from the American Academy of Neurology and the James Parkinson’s Award from the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.   He serves on numerous editorial and scientific advisory boards and is also a devoted father and skier. 


Lisa ShulmanLisa M. Shulman, M.D.

Dr. Lisa M. Shulman is a neurologist specializing in Parkinson Disease and other Movement Disorders.  In addition to neurology, her diverse background includes training in nursing, education and health policy.  

She is currently Professor of Neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  Dr. Shulman is the endowed Eugenia Brin Professor of Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorders and the Rosalyn Newman Distinguished Scholar in Parkinson Disease.  

Dr. Shulman’s major research interest is the impact of chronic neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease including studies of exercise interventions, self-management skills, disability, quality of life, women’s health issues and health disparities in Parkinson’s disease and related movement disorders.

She was elected to serve on the Board of Directors (2007-2011) and currently serves as Secretary of the American Academy of Neurology.

Dr. Shulman has edited five books as Editor-in-Chief of the American Academy of Neurology’s Neurology Now Patient Book Series, and co-authored the reference book, Parkinson’s Disease: A Complete Guide for Patients and Families.  She is author or editor of 12 books, 30 chapters, 100 peer-reviewed publications and 130 abstracts.

This seminar has been made possible by educational grants from Teva Neuroscience, Ipsen, St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation, Medtronic Neuromodulation and Biotechnology Industry Organization.