SuperWalk becomes Super Research as Parkinson Society Canada and its Central and Northern Ontario Region volunteers present $379,000 to Toronto scientists

    TORONTO, Nov. 14 /CNW/ - Parkinson Society Canada (PSC) and its Central
and Northern Ontario Region (CNOR) today awarded $379,000 to seven Toronto
scientists to further their quest to better understand a disease that affects
over 100,000 Canadians.
    Dedicated volunteers and participants in the annual SuperWalk event, many
of whom are living with Parkinson's, presented grant recipients with the
awards monies today.
    "Our volunteers and SuperWalk participants work hard to raise funds and
we are delighted to be able to have an opportunity for them to meet the
scientists they fund, face to face", said Debbie Davis, Executive Director,
PSC, CNOR, "It is through their generosity of spirit and hard work that PSC is
able to fund leading edge research".
    Researchers from Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital and the
University of Toronto will look to answer questions such as:

    -   Why do some people with Parkinson's have visual hallucinations?
        Dr. Susan Fox and Dr. Antonio Strafella - Toronto Western Hospital,
        Pilot Project Grant, $45,000.
    -   Why does deep brain stimulation only work for 40 to 60 percent of the
        patients who undergo the surgery? Dr. Damian Shin - Toronto Western
        Hospital, 2-year Basic Research Fellowship, $100,000.
    -   What role do enzymes play in the death of dopamine producing brain
        cells? Dr. Qi Wan - Toronto Western Hospital Research Institute,
        Pilot Project Grant, $45,000.
    -   Why does a particular protein form within neurons and kill important
        dopamine producing cells? Dr. Satoshi Suo - Mount Sinai Hospital,
        2-year Basic Research Fellowship, $100,000.
    -   Does damaged motor function which hinders spontaneous emotional
        expression, also affect one's ability to experience emotions?
        Dr. Raluca Petrican - University of Toronto, Psychosocial Doctoral
        Award, $44,000.
    -   How do we better manage and diagnose aspects of Parkinson's disease?
        Dr. Rosalind Chuang - Toronto Western Hospital Movement Disorder
        Clinic, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Clinical Movement Disorder
        Fellowship, $45,000.

    "Canada is home to some of the world's finest researchers and PSC is
proud to contribute to this outstanding research," said PSC President & CEO
Joyce Gordon.
    PSC's National Research applications are part of a peer-reviewed process
of Parkinson Society Canada's Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), an expert panel
of prominent and respected neuroscientists and physicians.

    Parkinson's is a progressive neurological disease for which there is no
known cause or cure. When cells in the brain that normally produce a chemical
called "dopamine" die, symptoms of Parkinson's appear. The most common
symptoms are: tremor (shaking), slowness in movements, muscle stiffness and
problems with balance. Other symptoms that may also occur for some people
include fatigue, difficulties with speech and writing, sleep disorders,
depression and cognitive changes.

    For over 40 years, Parkinson Society Canada (PSC) has been the national
voice of people living with Parkinson's disease. PSC has over 230 chapters and
support groups. PSC's mission is to fund research, support services, advocacy
and education. For more information visit or call

For further information:

For further information: John Provenzano, Manager, Communications and
Marketing, Parkinson Society Canada, 1-800-565-3000 x3399, (416) 227-3399,; Debbie Davis, Executive Director, Central
Northern Ontario Region, Parkinson Society Canada, (416) 227-3373,

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