Fall prevention research for Parkinson’s Disease

Every year, up to 70% of people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) will fall, often leading to serious medical and social issues. The National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke has awarded the Michigan Department of Neurology a five-year, $11.5 million grant to establish the Morris K. Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research focused on developing a treatment to prevent falls.

Clinical Trial Opportunities
Importantly, much of the Center’s work is clinical research on patients with earlier stages of Parkinson’s before falls emerge, but it is hoped that the novel therapeutic approach will ultimately help decrease falls in those experiencing them. Involvement of adequate numbers of patients is critical for success.

fall_preventThose interested in participating can register to be contacted at www.clinicalstudies.org (search for “Parkinson’s disease” and click on study titled “Cholinergic Mechanisms of Gait Dysfunction in Parkinson’s Disease”).

The Center conducts experimental, computational and human research to further investigate the possibility that the degeneration of cholinergic neurons is an important cause of gait dysfunction in Parkinson’s Disease. The Center is both testing this possibility—based  upon considerable earlier findings—and working to develop a novel treatment strategy targeted at cholinergic neurotransmission.

With this grant, Michigan becomes one of only nine Morris K. Udall Centers of Excellence in Parkinson’s Disease in the United States.

For more information, visit udallpd.umich.edu.


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