April is Parkinson's awareness month - Montréal's tourism industry mobilizes to welcome the 3rd World Parkinson Congress

October 1-4, 2013

MONTREAL, April 29, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - World Parkinson Coalition and Parkinson Society Canada will co-host the next World Parkinson Congress (WPC) in October 2013 in Montréal. More than 3,500 delegates from over 60 countries are expected to attend this major event, which is the only global conference that brings together the entire Parkinson's community, including people with Parkinson's, those who care for them, medical professionals, policy makers and researchers working toward a cure and better treatments.

During April, which is Parkinson's awareness month, Tourisme Montréal wants to underscore the fact that all members of Montréal's tourism industry are getting ready to welcome these worldwide delegates, many of whom view coming to the Congress as a life-changing experience and a dream fulfilled.

"Welcoming the third World Parkinson Congress to Montréal is a unique opportunity for the country and for the Québec Parkinson's community. Being part of this global family and having access to leading researchers and the latest treatment innovations and knowledge will leave a lasting impression for people with Parkinson's. Individuals will share their experiences with those who live similar realities, all contributing to making this an exceptional event not to be missed. We are pleased to welcome people from all over the world to Canada -- to help them discover Montréal's cultural life while sharing its beauty and warmth in the fall," said Nicole Charpentier, Executive Director at Parkinson Society Québec.

The Local Organizing Committee of WPC 2013 includes well-known Parkinson's specialists, such as Dr. Anne-Louise Lafontaine, Neurologist and Clinical Director of the McGill Movement Disorder Clinic and director of the Renata Hornstein Parkinson Clinic; Dr. Michel Panisset, Professor of Medicine at Université de Montréal, Co-director of the André-Barbeau Movement Disorders Clinic of CHUM, and Co-director of the McGill University Movement disorder functional surgery program; and Dr. Sylvain Chouinard, Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine at Université de Montréal, Neurologist, and Co-director of the André-Barbeau Movement Disorders Clinic of CHUM.

"The committee members are thrilled to organize this international event in our city. This is an amazing opportunity that involves not only scientists and health care professionals, but also the people who know the disease best, those living with it and their care partners - so that we can all learn from each other," said Dr. Lafontaine.

"Montréal is proud to be the host of this major conference. Our goal is to guarantee a pleasant stay in our city to all delegates, and also to help people from Montréal to understand Parkinson's disease better," underlined the Honourable Charles Lapointe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tourisme Montréal. "We are working with Parkinson Society Québec, Parkinson Society Canada and our partners in transportation, housing and catering to improve the experience of the delegates, making sure we are ready to welcome them the best possible way."

The Congress will cover everything from the latest research findings and clinical treatments to the lived experience and best practices in coping with Parkinson's. To register or for more information, visit www.worldpdcongress.org

Parkinson's disease in Canada
Parkinson's is a chronic degenerative neurological disease caused by a loss of dopamine in the brain. When the dopamine producing cells die, Parkinson's symptoms appear.

  • More than 100,000 Canadians have Parkinson's disease (this number is estimated as there is no national population-based study on Parkinson's);
  • While the average age of diagnosis is 65 years, Canadians as young as 25 years are being diagnosed. Those who are diagnosed under the age of 40 are commonly known as "Young-Onset" and the number of Young-Onset cases of Parkinson's is increasing,
  • Direct costs for Parkinson's disease (hospital and physician care and drugs) total approximately $86.8 million.

About Parkinson Society Canada
Parkinson Society Canada is the national voice of Canadians living with Parkinson's disease. A charitable organization founded in 1965, its vision is a better life with a brighter future for Canadians living with Parkinson's today, a world without Parkinson's tomorrow. Parkinson Society Canada, with network of partners including Parkinson Society Québec, funds discovery research and provides education, support, and advocacy on behalf of over 100,000 Canadians living with Parkinson's. For more information: www.parkinson.ca

About Tourisme Montréal
Tourisme Montréal is responsible for providing leadership in the concerted efforts of hospitality and promotion in order to position the "Montréal" destination on leisure and business travel markets. It is also responsible for developing Montréal's tourism product in accordance with the ever-changing conditions of the market. For more information: www.tourisme-montreal.org.

About World Parkinson Coalition
The World Parkinson Coalition Inc. is a New York-based charitable organization dedicated to providing an international forum for the latest scientific discoveries, medical practices and caregiver initiatives related to Parkinson's disease. By bringing physicians, scientists, allied health professionals, caregivers and people with Parkinson's together, WPC Inc. hopes to create a worldwide dialogue to expedite the discovery of a cure and best treatment practices for this devastating disease. For more information: www.worldpdcongress.org

SOURCE: TOURISME MONTREAL

For further information:

Alexandra Graveline
Manager - Corporate Public Relations
Tourisme Montréal 514 844-3558
graveline.alexandra@tourisme-montreal.org

Marina Joseph
Parkinson Society Canada
1-800-565-3000 ext. 3399 or 416 227-3399
Marina.joseph@parkinson.ca

Eli Pollard
World Parkinson Congress
646 388-7650
eli@worldpdcongress.org

Annie Turcot
Parkinson Society Québec
1 800 720-1307 ext.227
aturcot@parkinsonquebec.ca