Fox Meeting Notes: We report on the latest news in Parkinson’s disease research, live from the Movement Disorder Society International Congress in Dublin, Ireland.
The Movement Disorder Society (MDS) annual International Congress is generally an event targeting its members: clinicians, scientists, and others whose work targets Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other movement disorders.
But on this first day of the 2012 Congress, it was also an opportunity to share with, and to hear from, people living with PD and their families and friends, as a series of leaders in the field of PD research presented at a national patient conference sponsored by the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland. Among them: Researchers from Austria, Ireland, Italy, and the United Kingdom, as well as The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s (MJFF) own Mark Frasier, PhD.
One notable Irishman with PD opened up the day’s events: Shay Healy, a broadcaster, singer and songwriter, perhaps best known for "What's Another Year,” Ireland's winning entry in the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest, addressed fellow members of what he called “A Parky Army… conjoined in a fight to find a solution.” Today, he explained, those gathered were lucky for the opportunity to hear from experts in the field of PD research, in order to “poke around in their heads.”
And poke around they did. Topics of the day ranged from the history of PD, to drug management, to growing old with the disease, to future directions for treatment, to the benefits of Irish set dancing (one study says there are significant ones). And yes, some gathered even got up and danced. Frasier, for his part, relayed important news from the Foundation’s perspective, with the help of a taped video message from Michael J. Fox: namely, that MJFF’s online clinical trial matching tool Fox Trial Finder had now launched in Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Stay tuned for more updates from MDS over the next week.