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Parkinson's News in Brief: Latest Science Headlines

Dear Friend of PDF,

Welcome to the latest installment of Parkinson’s News in Brief, which provides you with updates on advances made in Parkinson's research.  In each story, we ask “what does it mean?” for a person with Parkinson’s and do our best to give you the answers.


Genetic Risk Factor for Parkinson’s Linked to Increased Alpha-Synuclein

How are Parkinson’s and Gaucher’s disease connected? Valerie Cullen, Ph.D., and Michael G. Schlossmacher, M.D., and their colleagues at both Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, and the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Canada, have shed light on a mystery about the relationship by studying a gene called GBA.  The research was published in the April 6 online edition of Annals of Neurology.
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Low Vitamin D Levels May Precede Parkinson’s Symptoms

Vitamin D is still not completely understood, but it’s in the news again. People with a recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s were found to have low blood levels of vitamin D in a study published in the March 2011 issue of Neurology, suggesting Vitamin D is low before PD symptoms are diagnosed.
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Notes from Annual Neurology Meeting

In April, several thousand neurologists met for the American Academy Neurology meeting to discuss the latest in research and care for neurological diseases like Parkinson’s. I was able to join and add a few updates to the PDF blog about our presence at the meeting.
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Support Research through the (Doubled!) Brilliant Challenge

More than 750 of you helped PDF to surpass the initial goal of the Irving G. Brilliant Parkinson’s Research Challenge. Because of this, Mr. Brilliant also agreed to double his match, which means that $400,000 total will benefit research if we raise just $25,000 more in the next month. Will you help?
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I hope you will find these reports informative.  If you have any additional questions about these reports, please feel free to call PDF’s HelpLine at (800) 457-6676 or email us at

Dr. James Beck
Director of Research Programs


Upcoming Parkinson's Events

Thursday, June 2 — Friday, June 3
Parkinson's Quilt Display (Traverse City, MI)

Friday, June 17 — Saturday, June 18
Parkinson's Quilt Display (Des Moines, IA)

Saturday, June 25
PDF Champs: 6th Annual Golf Fundraiser (Macomb, MI)

Tuesday, June 28
Complementary Approaches to Parkinson's (Online)

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If you have or believe you have Parkinson’s disease, then promptly consult a physician and follow your physician’s advice. This email is not a substitute for a physician’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease or for a physician’s prescription of drugs, treatment or operations for Parkinson’s.