Our community knows that getting to better treatments and a Parkinson's cure takes time and continued support. That's why Team Fox members run marathons, host comedy events and help kids set up lemonade stands to fundraise for research. It's why supporters spread the word about our work on social media and in their own communities.
And we know that supporters can make a real difference in transforming science. On Tuesday, for example, a drug to slow Parkinson's progression announced NIH funding for a Phase III clinical trial. The Foundation funded the Phase II trial with our largest grant to a single investigator.
The impact grassroots fundraising makes on scientific research is even making headlines. On the anniversary of the ALS ice bucket challenge, evidence suggests that funds raised may have driven a possible breakthrough in research. Nicholas Kristof writes in The New York Times:
Scientists studying A.L.S. have reported a breakthrough that could lead to therapy, not just for A.L.S. but for other ailments, too. And they say the money raised in the ice bucket challenge was crucial.
[...] The research focused on a protein called TDP-43 that in some circumstances is linked to cell death in the brain or spinal cord of patients. The scientists found that inserting a custom-designed protein allowed cells to return to normal.
The lead author of the study said that the work may lead to a diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s, too. The research may also translate over to cancer and immunology fields.
There's no denying that neurodegenerative diseases are complicated. But these successes show that donor support can create significant progress. Thank you to all the supporters who give and spread the word to make this critical work possible.