“The goal of the Fox Foundation is to close — I really look forward to that day when I get to retire,” said Todd Sherer, PhD, CEO of The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) as he spoke to BBC News about the Foundation’s mission to end Parkinson’s. “We are not here to exist here forever. We want to achieve this goal and then move on.”
Todd and other Parkinson’s disease (PD) experts — people living with the disease and scientists from around the world — participated in a three-episode radio series on “The Truth about Parkinson’s.” Hosted by BBC journalist Jane Hill, whose father and uncle both had the disease, the series takes an in-depth look at what it means to be given a PD diagnosis, how to manage the disease, and the latest promise in research.
More than 200 years have passed since James Parkinson described a condition known as the “shaking palsy,” and we know more about the disease than ever before, but there still continues to be many elusive questions researchers around the world are trying to solve.
Genetic research has led to a greater understanding of the potential causes of Parkinson’s and how scientists may stop it, but most of that research has been done in people of European descent. Todd explains how MJFF is expanding genetic research in areas like Africa, East Asia, India and Latin America to better define Parkinson’s and point to new treatment options:
“You can really gain great insight by diversifying the population of the people involved in research. Genetics becomes a starting point for this research and can expand to the entire population.”
Listen to part three of the series, which features MJFF, or start from episode one here. Then, sign up to join our community and stay connected to the latest research driving us toward a cure for Parkinson’s disease.