April 14, 2020
April marks Parkinson Awareness Month. Parkinson’s is a complex neurodegenerative disease, whose symptoms include tremors, impaired balance, slowness, stiffness, and soft speech. It is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world.
Roughly 100,000 people live with this disease in Canada, a disease that worsens over time and ultimately, results in a loss of independence and premature death. Researchers are still searching for a cure.
Parkinson Canada, an organization that provides support services and education to people living with Parkinson’s disease, their families, and health care professionals, is currently supporting 30 research grants, fellowships and student awards for the research cycle of 2019 to 2021. That is a total of $1.3 million dedicated to new research projects in Canada, aiming to understand the disease and hopefully, finding a cure for it.
To highlight a few examples, Dr. Mervyn Gornitsky, from McGill University, is currently conducting research using samples of saliva of those who have Parkinson’s to find a non-invasive, physiological tool to diagnose Parkinson’s disease in its early stages, before the onset of symptoms. Meanwhile, Diana Matheoud, a researcher from the Université de Montréal has identified the way cells respond to infection or stress as a potential indicator of the onset of Parkinson’s disease.
Across the country, Parkinson Canada remains committed to ongoing research efforts, ensuring that no one faces Parkinson’s alone.
Whether you are newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s or are caring for someone living with this disease, timely access to care and treatments makes a difference between living well and experiencing life-altering symptoms. Parkinson Canada has helped create a better life for those living with Parkinson’s disease through their efforts in education, research, advocacy and support services.
In order to create a better future, one without Parkinson’s disease, we must continue to work together to support all those affected, as well as continue our commitment to the global search for better treatment options and a cure.
Hon. Judith G. Seidman