The Canadian Open Parkinson Network—National Research Platform Accelerates Parkinson’s Disease Discoveries

Parkinson Canada invites people living with Parkinson’s disease to join the Canadian Open Parkinson Network (C-OPN) to be part of the solution to improve lives for those living with Parkinson’s and ultimately to help discover a cure.

Phase one of C-OPN brings together many of Canada’s best in Parkinson’s research with eight sites initially taking part in four provinces, giving investigators access to unprecedented data. The database and the biobank will support large scale, multidisciplinary projects that would not be possible at a single research site.

To ensure this initiative will have the greatest impact, the network needs people with Parkinson’s disease and Parkinson Plus (Atypical) Syndrome across Canada to register and participate in moving science forward at a more rapid pace. As a participant in the network, you will have the opportunity to:

  1. Participate in the creation of a national database collecting critical information from people with Parkinson’s disease or Parkinson Plus Syndrome for researchers across Canada.
  2. Participate in the creation of a national biobank for Parkinson’s disease or Parkinson Plus Syndrome for researchers.
  3. Learn more about research opportunities happening across Canada and contribute to findings and new outcomes that could change the future of Parkinson’s care and treatment or that can ultimately lead to a cure.

“It was pretty devastating to receive news that I have Parkinson’s disease. I thought it was kind of a death sentence. I found out it wasn’t. Now, I’ve come to realize that nobody can take away my Parkinson’s unless these wonderful researchers come up with a cure. Participating in medical research is worthwhile,” says Dulcie Webb, diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2016, and participant in the Calgary Parkinson Research Initiative (CaPRI) site that is linked with C-OPN.

Currently, due to COVID-19, all research is being conducted remotely, and joining C-OPN can be done from the comfort of your own home. If you are interested in participating, click the following link and fill out your information to be connected to a research coordinator at the site closest to you. If you are interested in learning more about the network, click the following link that will take you to the C-OPN website.

Dr. Oury Monchi, a professor and Clinical Research Director at the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Canada Research Chair and Tourmaline Chair in Parkinson’s disease in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine is the Principal Investigator and Director of C-OPN.

“By building a strong, interconnected and collaborative network of researchers, physicians and people living with Parkinson’s, we can work strategically to accelerate advancements in Parkinson’s research and treatment,” states Dr. Monchi.

C-OPN was created through a $2-million Brain Canada Platform Support Grant. $1 million was provided by Brain Canada through the Canada Brain Research Fund and this was matched by a $1-million investment of funds supplied by generous donors to Parkinson Canada, who led the project development.

“Brain Canada has long believed in the importance of open science and data sharing in strengthening Canadian brain research. We consider that research funders have a key role to play in supporting the development of open science policies and data sharing platforms. We are proud to be a partner of the C-OPN and remain unwavering in our commitment to ‘science without barriers and borders’ — science that is networked, coordinated, diverse, and inclusive,” says Line Trudeau, Chief Financial and Strategy Officer and Interim CEO, Brain Canada.

“A future without Parkinson’s requires transformative change and unwavering commitment,” said Karen Lee, PhD, President and CEO of Parkinson Canada. “By creating C-OPN with our partners, we are shaping the global state of Parkinson’s research. Once we understand bigger questions like causes of Parkinson’s, together, we can better serve the needs of the Parkinson’s community. A collaboration like C-OPN allows us to reach more people affected by Parkinson’s and accelerate research discoveries that one day will unlock a cure. None of this would be possible without significant financial backing, and donors are stepping up to make it all happen.”

For more information on C-OPN, visit www.copn-rpco.com

For more information on Parkinson Canada, visit www.parkinson.ca

For more information on Brain Canada, visit www.braincanada.ca

For more information on the University of Calgary, visit ucalgary.ca

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