SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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Parkinson's Disease Foundation Calls Upon Research Professionals to Engage Patient Advocates in Speeding Drug Development

Volunteer Network Has Track Record of Improving Trial Recruitment, Removing Research Roadblocks

NEW YORK, March 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Parkinson's Disease Foundation® (PDF®) invites research professionals within industry, academia and government, to partner with its trained patient advocates to bring about better treatments for Parkinson's disease.  This week, PDF welcomes new members to its national network, which now includes more than 230 Research Advocates whose insights are critical to speeding drug development.

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In the past five years, more than 400 research professionals have engaged PDF Research Advocates in setting research priorities, designing clinical trials and increasing study enrollment.  These partnerships have led to, among other outcomes, 700 people enrolling in clinical studies to advance Parkinson's disease science. 

This week, more than 30 people with Parkinson's disease and care partners are undergoing training to join the network. 

"I urge my colleagues in the field of Parkinson's disease research to work with these unique individuals.  It is incredibly effective," said Claire Henchcliffe, M.D., D.Phil., faculty member for the program, Director of the PDF Research Center at Weill Cornell Medical College, and associate professor of neurology and neuroscience in the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, NY.  "In my experience, PDF Research Advocates can enhance our work by bringing an understanding of what it means to live with Parkinson's disease."

Linda M. Morgan, M.B.A., R.Ph., a PDF Research Advocate from Asheville, NC, who also serves as a faculty member for the program, added, "The community is increasingly recognizing the importance of the patient's voice.  We want research professionals to know that, thanks to PDF's training and support, we are ready to hit the ground running to improve trials and solve Parkinson's disease."

PDF invites research professionals in the field of Parkinson's disease to contact us for information on partnering with PDF Research Advocates by calling (800) 457-6676, emailing [email protected] or visiting www.pdf.org/pair.   

PDF invites people with Parkinson's disease and their loved ones to get involved by completing its free Parkinson's Advocates in Research online course at www.pdf.org/paironline.

About Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly one million people in the US.  Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for Parkinson's disease.

About Parkinson's Advocates in Research 
As a signature program of PDF, Parkinson's Advocates in Research (PAIR) is bringing together the people who live with Parkinson's disease and the people who are developing new therapies with one goal: better treatments at a faster pace.  Through in-person trainings and an online course, the PAIR program provides people touched by Parkinson's disease with the skills needed to pair up with scientists and health professionals.  By collaborating with research institutions, the PAIR program facilitates partnerships between Research Advocates and professionals at the frontlines of research.  The cornerstone of the program is a national network of more than 230 Research Advocates from 42 states who speed drug development, increase trial participation and inform the Parkinson's disease community about research.  Learn more at www.pdf.org/pair.

About Parkinson's Disease Foundation® 
The Parkinson's Disease Foundation® (PDF®) is a leading national presence in Parkinson's disease research, education and public advocacy.  PDF is working for the nearly one million people in the US who live with Parkinson's disease by funding promising scientific research while supporting people living with Parkinson's through educational programs and services.  Since its founding in 1957, PDF has dedicated over $100 million to fund the work of leading scientists throughout the world and over $42 million to support national education and advocacy programs. 

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SOURCE Parkinson's Disease Foundation

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