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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 14, 2010


Tressa Iris Kirby

MEDIA ADVISORY: Up Close and Personal With Parkinson’s Disease

Washington, DC –Trouble speaking, difficulty walking, and the inability to do simple tasks. For one million men and women in the United States, this is an average day living with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease impairs nerve cells in the part of the brain that controls muscle movement, creating debilitating symptoms that can be managed, but not cured by today’s current treatment.

Parkinson’s is a leading neurodegenerative disease, second only to Alzheimer’s disease. As baby boomers begin to age, Parkinson’s is expected to increase by fifty thousand cases each year, and that’s why a health series at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) will address some of the most critical issues surrounding this disease.

In this upcoming installment of the Doctors Speak Out series, a distinguished panel of Georgetown physicians and researchers will discuss groundbreaking new treatments, and how to improve existing treatments. Georgetown’s research-driven medical center is currently exploring a promising new treatment hoped to improve the life of patients with Parkinson’s through an implanted device that electronically stimulates the brain.

WHERE: Georgetown University Conference Center, 3800 Reservoir Road, NW (Complimentary parking available at Hospital Entrance # 1)

WHEN: Wednesday, December 15, 2010; 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.
*Media: please RSVP no later than Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 11a.m. by contacting Tressa Kirby, 202-687-8865.

WHO: Rea Blakey – Moderator; Reporter, Discovery Health Channel, Washington, D.C.

Howard J. Federoff, MD, PhD, GUMC’s executive vice president for health sciences, is an accomplished scientist and world-renowned expert in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. His research focuses on gene therapy, mechanisms of neurodegenerative dis¬eases and their treatment.

Fernando L. Pagan, MD, associate professor of neurology, co-director of the Georgetown University Hospital (GUH) Movement Disorders Program and director of the National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence at GUH, is expert in treating movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease.

Amy Comstock Rick, JD, is chief executive officer of Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN), a nationwide network of patients, their families, caregivers and other organizations that advocate for better treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

About Georgetown University Medical Center

Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked, the world-renowned Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO). In fiscal year 2009-2010, GUMC accounted for 79 percent of Georgetown University's extramural research funding.


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