National and Local Researches will highlight advances in medical research and discuss wellness and quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s disease.
BOULDER, CO, OCTOBER 4, 2008 – The first Davis Phinney Foundation Victory Summit: A Symposium for People Living with Parkinson’s Disease will be held on October 4, 2008 at the Westin Hotel in Westminster, Colorado. National and local researchers will discuss the importance of speech therapy, the benefits of exercise and recent scientific findings related to deep brain stimulation surgery and its effects on quality of life. The event is designed to inform and inspire those living with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers. An estimated 1.5 million Americans are living with Parkinson’s disease today.
“The Davis Phinney Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life of those living with Parkinson’s disease by providing both the inspiration and the information they can use to improve their lives today,” says Amy Howard, Executive Director of the Davis Phinney Foundation. “At the Victory Summit, leading researchers will highlight new and exciting developments in Parkinson’s disease research and also provide information on programs available to help patients strive for their own improvements in the quality of their life.”
Preliminary findings from a recent study funded by the Davis Phinney Foundation, and led by Caryl Sortwell, Ph.D., associate professor of Neurology at the University of Cincinnati, demonstrated that deep brain stimulation (DBS), halted the progression of dopamine-cell loss in animal models. Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative neurological disorder involving the death of dopamine- producing brain cells or neurons. DBS therapy is a surgical procedure that involves the use of a pacemaker like device to deliver tiny, controlled electrical pulses to a carefully targeted area of the brain involved in Parkinson’s disease.
“Demonstrating that deep brain stimulations halts the progression of dopamine-cell loss confirmed some of our previous findings,” says Sortwell. “But finding the mechanism is a novel discovery that is even more critical. We now know not only that it works, we also are beginning to understand how it is working.” The Davis Phinney Foundation was created by Davis Phinney, former Tour de France cyclist and Olympic Bronze medalist. Phinney was diagnosed with Young-Onset Parkinson’s disease in 2000.
Phinney created the Foundation in hopes to inform and inspire others living with the disease. He recently received deep brain stimulation surgery in April 2008 at Stanford University. Following a successful recovery, Phinney is now back on a bike and supporting his son, Olympian Taylor Phinney. Phinney, one of the speakers at the Victory Summit, will be joined by Dr Lorraine Ramig, senior scientist for the National Center for Voice and Speech; Dr. Olga Klepitskaya, Neurologist with the University of Colorado; Dr. Tim Collier, Professor of Neurology at the University of Cincinnati; Trudy Turvey, Physical Therapist; Gammon Earhart, PhD, Physical Therapist, Washington University School of Medicine; and, Margaret Schenkman Ph.D., Professor and Director, Physical Therapy Program, University of Colorado, Denver.
For more information on the Victory Summit: A Symposium for People Living with Parkinson’s disease please visit the Davis Phinney Foundation website www.davisphinneyfoundation.com or call 1-866–358-0285.