Editor's Note: For the latest Foundation news, research updates and tips on living well with Parkinson's, read the Spring/Summer edition of The Fox Focus, our biannual newsletter.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) has formally established a Parkinson’s public policy program. While our efforts engaging government leaders and regulators are expanding, our dedication to curing Parkinson’s disease (PD) and improving quality of life is unwavering. At the same time, we know that we can pursue these ambitious goals only with the strong support of the Parkinson’s community.
Studies are moving forward around the most important drug target in Parkinson’s. As more alphasynuclein projects advance into clinical trials, MJFF has launched a study to measure this protein in different parts of the body to test potential therapies and track disease progression. We’re also learning more about LRRK2, identifying its cellular “partners” for more ways to measure treatments and intervene in the disease process.
And we’re amid a rush of symptomatic treatments toward pharmacy shelves: a new therapy for PD psychosis, novel formulations of existing drugs for quick rescue from “off” episodes, and drugs to offset involuntary movements called dyskinesia.
These advancements are possible because of the collaborative spirit of companies, academic researchers and study participants. Investigators are joining MJFF to move these therapies to and through clinical testing. And Fox Trial Finder (foxtrialfinder.org), our online tool to connect the community with clinical studies, now includes more than 50,000 registered volunteers.
Patients also are helping us learn more about this disease from their own homes. Fox Insight (foxinsight.org) is our virtual clinical study, where patients and loved ones can contribute data on living with PD. And in a pilot study, we’ve brought pharmaceutical company Cynapsus together with tech giant Intel to assess whether wearable computing (such as smartwatches) can help scientists evaluate the effect of a drug while lessening the burden on patients to maintain diaries.
Government officials and insurance companies are critical partners, too — in helping make treatments accessible and in building programs to allow people with Parkinson’s to live well with disease. As we enter a new era of public policy with these stakeholders, we again turn to the PD community for assistance.
In this fast-paced world of possibility — of novel insights, new treatments and extended programs — we are so grateful to have the community behind us as we pursue our ambitious agenda. Your optimism and participation fuel progress.
Thank you for your continued support.