Helping cells help themselves and tackling Parkinson’s disease along the way

McGill University doctoral student Shafqat Rasool is investigating the way PINK1, a gene-related to Parkinson’s disease, is activated. He’s also studying small molecules that could improve the gene’s function. PINK1 tells the body’s cells to remove damaged mitochondria. When this gene fails to do its job, damaged mitochondria accumulate and clump up in neurons, causing their … Read more

Donating Securities to Parkinson Canada—a Tax Efficient Way to Give!

Each year at this time, many Canadians look at all the requests from charities and then decide which ones they want to support before December 31. Since 2006, Canadians have been able to donate securities to registered Canadian charities and receive a tax receipt for the full appreciated value with no capital gains tax. This … Read more

“I have Parkinson’s. It doesn’t have me.”

Jamie Fobert, then 40 years young, sobbed during the entire two-hour drive home from the neurologist appointment to his home in Belleville, Ontario. Over the next few days, he shared his diagnosis with his family and his employers while trying to just get on with his life. Over the next few years, he would redesign … Read more

New guideline for Parkinson’s disease aims for clear communication and standardized care for the Parkinson’s community

Includes new non-motor, palliative care, and treatment advances A comprehensive new Canadian Guideline for Parkinson Disease, 2nd Edition, provides practical guidance for physicians, allied health professionals, people with Parkinson’s and families on disease management. CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal www.cmaj.ca) published the new guideline accompanied by an easy-to-reference infographic and podcast. Parkinson’s is a debilitating, … Read more

Revealing the true face of a brain cell invader

The protein alpha-synuclein works its way into cells occupying parts of the brain affected by Parkinson’s disease as well as those cells in other parts of the brain that remain healthy. This observation has led researchers like Maxime Rousseaux at the University of Ottawa to consider whether this protein’s presence is harmful or helpful. The … Read more

Peering into red blood cells to diagnose Parkinson’s

At Laval University, PhD candidate Hélèna Denis is looking deep inside the blood cells of people with Parkinson’s disease. She is examining the connection between proteins linked to Parkinson’s and small pieces of cell membrane, called extracellular vesicles that can emerge from any cell. Her research is made possible through a Graduate Student Award from … Read more

Looking for Answers

Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological disease in the world. No matter at what age a person is diagnosed, receiving the news that you have Parkinson’s is frightening and life-changing. The average wait time to see a specialist for diagnosis of Parkinson’s in Canada is 11 months and in some regions the wait is 2+ … Read more

Come Sail Away…

In 2010, Steve Van Vlaenderen realized his lifelong dream of buying a sailboat. A year later, Steve was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and he was devastated. Doctors told him the sailboat was not a good idea, due to balance issues and other problems brought on by the disease. His diagnosis made him feel defeated, robbed, … Read more