Today I spent my morning at a research department at the University. I had read of the need for control subjects for Parkinson research and I volunteered. Today I had blood drawn and answered many questions and took many tests. (I am happy to report that I passed the cognitive impairment screening with flying colors.)
Today's goal was to establish that I am a suitable "control" -- that I do not have early signs of Parkinson's or other disqualifying conditions. If the bloodwork all checks out, I will go back in two weeks to provide more blood and also spinal fluid, for research purposes. I am not looking forward to the spinal tap, but I am glad to be able to contribute.
This study will involve 120 people with Parkinson's and 120 controls. The purpose is to try to identify biomarkers that are unique to those with Parkinson's. Early and accurate detection can lead to early and effective treatment and perhaps prevention of symptoms. This research will be done at 5 centers. It is sponsored by the Michael J Fox Foundation.
I share this with you because I think it is important to know that many, many research projects are going on all over the world, to try to solve the dreadful mysteries of chronic conditions. Someone does care.