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Since 1995, Parkinson Foundation Western Pennsylvania has served to enrich and engage, educate and empower individuals and their families during this challenging, overwhelming and often isolating period. PFWPA is your resource for information, programs, support and connection in Western PA. The organization continues to build and maintain a network of resources connecting those impacted by Parkinsons disease to local resources in their area. The information shared is specific to the individuals challenges they are facing.
New Skin Test Accurately Diagnoses Parkinsons Disease
New research out of Banner Sun Health Research Institute shows for the first time a simple skin test can accurately identify Parkinsons disease. This is a real breakthrough since there is currently no reliable test for the disease.
The study was published this September in the scientific journal Movement Disorders. Tom Beach, MD, Ph.D., Director of the Brain and Body Donation Program at BSHRI, was a lead researcher on the study.
We conducted a blinded study of 50 skin samples provided by the Arizona Study of Aging and Neurodegenerative Disorders and the Brain and Body Donation Program based at Banner Sun Health Research Institute, said Dr. Beach. Half the skin samples came from people who had Parkinsons disease and half came from people without neurologic disease. Researchers diagnosed 24 out of the 25 Parkinsons disease patients accurately. The study was carried out in coordination with Iowa State University.
The next step in this research is to study the skin test on living people with and without Parkinsons disease. The first use of the new test could be in clinical trials where accurate diagnosis is key. There are several diseases that mimic the signs of Parkinsons, making clinical trials complicated. Current diagnosis techniques rely on observing symptoms, a method that is only 60-75% accurate at early stages of the disease according to Dr. Beach.
What Causes Parkinsons Disease
Researchershave not yet discovered the causes of PD. Scientists think PD arises from a complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors. No single factor likely causes PD on its own.
Although we still dont know precisely what causes the disease, some factors increase an individuals risk of developing Parkinsons disease. Risk factors include:
- The disorder is diagnosed mainly in people over the age of 60. The single most significant risk factor for PD is advancing age.
- Men are more likely than women to develop the disorder. PD usually begins with slow or rigid movement in men, while tremor is usually the dominant symptom in women.
- Genetic factors include a mutation in specific genes LRRK2 and GBA that raises the risk of developing PD. Several other gene variants have been linked to PD. Mutations in the mitochondria, the parts of your cells that generate energy, may also play a role in PD.
- Environmental triggers include toxic chemicals. Low-level exposure to some agricultural pesticides may be related to PD.
- Brain inflammation may play a crucial role in the development of PD.
- Head injuries increase the risk of PD.
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Donate By Mail Phone Or Online
PFNCA relies on donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to provide its programs and services. Your donation is a great investment. 84 cents of every dollar spent by PFNCA is spent on program related activities. Thank you for your consideration in giving generously to PFNCA. Ways to give include:
Please to donate online.
Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area3570 Olney Laytonsville Rd #490Olney, MD 20830
For a donation form you can print at home, please .
If your gift is in honor or in memory of someone, please include the following with your donation:
- Name of person the gift is in honor or in memory
- If the gift is in honor or in memory of that person
- The name and address of the person whom you would like to receive an acknowledgement of the gift. Please note that PFNCA does not include the donation amount when it notifies people of gifts in memory of or in honor of people.
If you would like to make a donation over the phone using your credit card, please call the PFNCA office at 844-6510 ext. 6.
Put Away Your Checkbook And Donate Appreciated Securities Instead
Giving appreciated securities sounds like a maneuver for the wealthy, but it can pay off for philanthropists of more modest means, too. The charity you plan to help should be more than willing to fill in the details. Time is running out, though, and it will take a little longer than writing a check. The transfer of ownership has to be completed by December 31 to lock in the deduction for your tax return.
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Memorial And Tribute Gifts
A memorial gift or gift in honor is a thoughtful way to remember a loved one or dear friend, while at the same time giving hope to others.
When making an online donation, kindly give us the name of the person your gift is in memory/honor of, as well as the name and address of a family member or close friend you wish to notify of your gift. After you have made your contribution, an acknowledgement letter will be sent to the designated family member or friend and a tax receipt will be sent to you. Please know that we will not specify the amount of the donation in the acknowledgement to the family.
Memorial and honorary contributions to the American Parkinson Disease Association are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
Leave A Donation In Your Will
Leaving a donation in your will is an easy and accessible way to donate to a cause that is important to you.
This form of inheritance or legacy reflects your values and is a great opportunity to support the 100,000 people in Quebec living with Parkinsons disease and their loved ones.
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Donate Through Your Donor
A donor-advised fund is a charitable giving program that allows you to combine the most favorable tax benefits with the flexibility to support your favorite causes.
- You can contribute cash, securities or other assets to a donor-advised fund. Typically you are eligible to take an immediate tax deduction and then the funds are invested for potential for tax-free growth. You can then recommend grants to any qualified public charity, such as APDA.
- You can make a one-time gift or set your DAF account to make automatic recurring grants in the amount and frequency of your choice. Its easy to do. Just log into your account on your charitable sponsors website and select recurring option. Its a great way to make your charitable giving more convenient.
If you would like to make a gift now through your DAF, simply to find your fund:
If you have any questions about making a tax-deductible gift to the American Parkinson Disease Association through a DAF, please contact June Colasuonno at 718-981-9202 or at .
This information does not constitute legal or financial advice. Because everyones situation is different, you should seek the advice of your own attorney, tax advisor and/or financial planner.
What Your Donation Helps Us To Do:
Provide a platform for collaboration and networking of our member organisations.
Raise national awareness and understanding of Parkinsons and its impacts on people affected by the condition.
Promote the importance of research into the cause, treatment and impacts of Parkinsons.
Lobby and advocate to the Australian Government and associated agencies
on behalf of people affected by Parkinsons.
There are several ways you can donate to Parkinson’s Australia listed below. If you are making a donation in memorial to someone and would like a letter of acknowledgement to be sent to their family, please email with the details.
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Gifts Of Publicly Listed Securities
A straight-forward and cost-effective way to support PPRIs mission today and into the futureA gift of securities is one of the most cost- effective ways to support PPRI, immediately or through a gift in your will. When publicly listed securities are donated to PPRI, the tax on the capital gains is eliminated. Any publicly listed securities, including shares, bonds, mutual funds and segregated fund units qualify.
How do I gift publicly listed securities and what are the benefits? Making a gift of publicly listed securities is straight forward: As most securities are held electronically, your broker can usually execute a transfer to PPRI in one or two days. Even mutual funds can transfer quite quickly. You will receive a charitable tax receipt equal to the closing value of the securities on the date the securities are received into PPRIs brokerage account. PPRI will sell the securities and to support the overall mission or a specific project. You can claim tax credits for the entire gift in the current year of the donation or carry tax credits forward for up to five years.
More information on donating securities is available here.
Download a Security Donations Form here to share with your broker with copy to PPRI.
How Does Parkinsons Disease Progress
Most people with PD respond well to medications, often for many years. Over time, medication response especially to levodopa may fluctuate. As the disease progresses, medications gradually become less effective. Disabling side effects can develop as medications lose their effectiveness.
Advanced symptoms of PD include:
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Is Parkinsons Disease Hereditary
PD can strike one or more family members, but it is rarely inherited directly. Only about 2% of PD cases appear to be related toan inherited mutation. However, people of specific ethnic backgrounds Ashkenazi Jews, North Africans, and Basques are more likely to suffer from PD.
Changes in the LRRK2 gene account for 15-20% of cases in Ashkenazi Jews and 40% of cases in North African Arab-Berbers. Other changes in LRRK2 that raise the risk of PD have been found in people of Chinese descent.
How Is Parkinsons Disease Prevented
No prevention strategy has been proven to stave off PD. However,several risk factors have been identified. Head injury and pesticide exposure have been associated with higher rates of PD. Drinking coffee is associated with lower incidence. While further research is necessary to confirm the connection, several extensive studies have linked high caffeine intake with reduced risk of developing PD.
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Parkinsons Disease Brain Science
PD results from a lack of dopamine in the brain. PD destroys a part of the brain stem known as the substantia nigra. Over time, dopamine-producing nerve cells in this area die, and the resulting decrease in dopamine levels leads to tremors, rigidity, and difficulty with motor skills. Researchers are trying to find ways to prevent or reverse the damage. Their work is coming at the problem from many different angles areas of current research include:
Title: Memory impairment in PD
Stage: Enrolling patients, treatment pilot trial
Principal investigator: Gregory Pontone, MD, MHS
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Dr. Pontone and Arnold Bakker, PhD, focus on the non-motor aspects of Parkinsons disease and related disorders in adults age 65 or older.
PD is more than just a disabling movement disorder. It also causes changes in thinking, perception, and mood regulation. As a result, more than half of persons with Parkinsons disease suffer from dementia, anxiety, depression, and hallucinations at some point during the course of the illness.
Dr. Pontones research aims to gain a better understanding of how PD injures a vital part of the brain called the hippocampus. Damage to networks in this area of the brain raises the risk for memory impairment, anxiety, depression, and psychosis.
Dr. Pontone and Dr. Bakker are seeking funding to extend the project by:
You Can Make A Difference
We’re funding research that could give Clare hope for the future. But we can’t do it without you. With your help we can discover new treatments. Can find new therapies. Can improve lives. Can find a cure.
Over the past 50 years, we’ve invested over £100m in groundbreaking research that can improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s.
From a world-first clinical trial to investigate whether cannabidiol could treat hallucinations and delusions in Parkinson’s. To a pioneering study inspired by Joy Milne who can ‘smell’ Parkinson’s, which aims to diagnose the condition sooner.
Now, we’re funding Dr Kirsty Bannister’s research into pain that could see personal pain profiles become part of NHS practice. which could make a huge difference in future for someone like Clare.
Your gift can bring us closer to major breakthroughs. Together, we can keep pushing. Donate now.
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How Is Parkinsons Disease Diagnosed
There is no one specific laboratory test that can confirm a diagnosis of Parkinsons disease. If your doctor suspects PD, he or she will likely order acombination of tests, exams, and treatments to rule out other sources of your symptoms and narrow in on a PD diagnosis.
Diagnostic steps may include:
- Medical history interviews to look for a pattern of symptoms or risk factors
- Physical and neurological exams to identify specific symptoms. The doctor will primarily look for evidence of slowed movement .
- Blood or laboratory tests to rule out other possible causes of symptoms
- Imaging exams to rule out other disorders. These scans do not directly detect PD
- SPECT imaging exam. This scan looks at the brains level of dopamine and may be used in conjunction with other tests to see if the problem is more likely to be PD.
- Administration of a medication called carbidopa-levodopa. If your symptoms respond to this medication, a diagnosis of PD is likely.
PLEASE CONSULT A PHYSICIAN FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Parkinsons Disease Caregiver Tips
Parkinsons disease affects every aspect of daily life. That can be immensely frustrating and demoralizing for both the sufferer and the people who care for them. Maintaining a safe, supportive environment is the best thing that a caregiver can do for someone coping with PD.
Tips to help your loved one and yourself:
- Educate yourself about the disease, its effects, and the side effects of medications used to treat it. For example, people taking levodopa are at risk for compulsive gambling, shopping, and impulsive behaviors. PD patients are also at higher risk of developing depression and anxiety. Be on the lookout for the warning signs of these conditions.
- Encourage a healthy lifestyle. There is no cure for PD, but there are ways to manage symptoms and maintain a good quality of life for as long as possible. Facilitate your loved ones eating a healthy diet and getting as much exercise as possible. You may also explore alternative therapies and activities such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, or massage.
- Join a support group for caregivers. Caregivers are at risk of developing physical and mental health issues, too. Take time for yourself, and get the help you need when you feel overwhelmed.
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Parkinson Research At The Ottawa Hospital
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s, affecting at least 100,000 Canadians. Only through a better understanding of the basic mechanisms that cause it can effective treatments be developed.
Imagine not being able to control a trembling in your hands and limbs, the inability to speak loudly, losing your sense of smell, dealing with unexplained pains. Unfortunately, these are just a few of the symptoms affecting Parkinsons disease patients every day.
More than 100,000 Canadians live with Parkinsons, including 8,000 here in Ottawa. Parkinsons is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that primarily affects voluntary, controlled movement. The exact cause of the disease is unknown. Discovered almost 200 years ago, there is still no cure or proven treatment available to slow its relentless progression. People can develop Parkinsons disease at any time in their life.
Our society will be faced with many more patients with Parkinsons over the decades to come. In many ways Parkinsons is complicated and also complex. I strongly believe that although its complex and complicated, we can solve that riddle. We have the expertise in Canada to make a major contribution to a cure for this disease.
Dr. Michael Schlossmacher, Senior Scientist, The Ottawa Hospital Canada Research Chair in Parkinson Disease and Translational Neuroscience
Partners Investing in Parkinson Research
Parkinson Research at The Ottawa Hospital
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My Gift Of Securities Or Mutual Funds
If you own publicly traded securities or mutual funds, you may want to consider donating the securities or mutual funds directly to Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario. You can donate these without incurring the Capital Gains Tax. This option may provide a greater benefit to you than donating cash. For further information, please contact Shelley Rivard at 1-888-851-7376 or .
Employer Match & Workplace Giving
Double the impact of each gift you make with a matching gift from your employer. Many companies encourage employees to donate to their favorite charities by matching their contributions. Some employers may even match gifts made by retirees or spouses of employees, or offer the ease of payroll deductions as an efficient way for employees to make a difference. Visit Parkinson.org/EmployerMatch to find out if your company has a match program.
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