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Ottawa researchers organize first national Parkinson’s disease meeting

January 16, 2008

For the first time ever, researchers and clinicians from across Canada will gather for a national meeting dedicated to Parkinson’s disease. The Parkinson Alliance Meeting will be held in Ottawa on January 18th and 19th, 2008. It is being organized by the Parkinson Research Consortium, a group of 17 scientists affiliated with the University of Ottawa, the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, The Ottawa Hospital and the National Research Council, along with Parkinson Society Canada.

Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease affecting more than 100,000 Canadians with the number of cases expected to double by the year 2050. In the vast majority of cases, no cause can be identified. Current therapies can partially mask symptoms but cannot prevent the disease from progressing.

The goal of the Parkinson Alliance Meeting is to develop a comprehensive and unified Canadian network to collaborate, promote and advocate for excellence in clinical care and research in Parkinson’s disease. The meeting will take place at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine. The first day will focus on research and will include 22 scientific presentations on topics ranging from genes linked to Parkinson’s disease to experimental cell replacement therapies to biomarkers that may aid in diagnosis and monitoring disease progression. The second day of the meeting will focus on clinical issues, such as the development of standard treatment guidelines and a national brain tissue bank as well as the formation of a Canadian study group that can quickly assess promising therapies.

The Parkinson Alliance Meeting is geared toward experts, but a special lecture for the general public has been organized to coincide with the meeting. The Parkinson Society Canada’s annual Donald Calne lecture will be given by Dr. Anthony Lang of the University of Toronto. The lecture, titled “Parkinson’s Disease: Beyond the Decade of the Brain” will begin at 5:30 p.m. on January 18th at the Marriott Hotel in Ottawa.

For more information, please see:
Parkinson Research Consortium website
Poster for the Parkinson Society Canada Donald Calne Public Lecture (note: RSVP required to brcarroll@ottawahospital.on.ca or 613-722-9238)

Sponsors of the Parkinson Alliance Meeting include the Parkinson Research Consortium, Parkinson Society Canada, the University of Ottawa, the Canadian Stroke Network, the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and TEVA Neuroscience.

Media Contact:
Jennifer Paterson
Director, Communications and Public Relations
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Phone: 613-798-5555 x 19691
Cell: 613-614-5253
Email: jpaterson@ohri.ca