CINCINNATI—The Neuroscience Institute (TNI) at the University of Cincinnati (UC) and University Hospital today was named the first national Davis Phinney Research Center for Parkinson’s disease.
As a national Davis Phinney Research Center, TNI is committed to collaborative laboratory research and the sharing of clinical data with new Davis Phinney centers at two other universities. The Denver-based Davis Phinney Foundation (DPF) will name its second national center later this month and a third before the end of the year.
“Data sharing will spur competition and will propel us toward discovery of the very best practices and the very best treatments for Parkinson’s patients,” said John Tew, MD, chair of the DPF’s Scientific Advisory Board, clinical director of TNI and professor of neurosurgery at the UC College of Medicine.
The Davis Phinney centers’ structure will serve as “a model for the country,” added Joseph Broderick, MD, vice chair of DPF’s Scientific Advisory Board, research director of TNI and chair of neurology at UC. “As a result of openness and collaboration, we predict that patient outcomes will improve at all the centers.”
Data sharing between health centers is uncommon, Broderick said. “We often do studies together academically, but intellectual property is not as easily shared. In addition, sharing treatment outcomes is not commonly done.”
Cycling legend Davis Phinney, diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at age 40, established his foundation in Cincinnati in 2003 with the help of cycling enthusiasts Kathleen Krumme and David Ariosa. The foundation is devoted to improving the lives of people living with Parkinson’s through collaborative research. It has invested nearly $250,000 in TNI through its signature fund-raising event, the Sunflower Revolution (www.sunflowerrev.org), a gala, auction, bike ride and educational symposium.
Phinney praised the institute for its excellence, its leadership and its willingness to embrace new ideas.
“Cincinnati’s researchers are working at the leading edge of Parkinson’s treatment and research,” he said. “They have built extraordinary momentum during the last two years, and we expect them to play a national role in Parkinson’s research.”
Phinney’s 300 national and international victories make him America’s winningest cyclist. He is one of only three Americans to win multiple stages of the Tour de France.
The Davis Phinney Foundation is dedicated to supporting research into the prevention and treatment of Parkinson’s and to finding ways to improve the lives of people challenged by the disease.
The foundation’s national leadership council includes Lance Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France champion, and Jeff Garvey, founding chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
The Neuroscience Institute, a regional center of excellence at the University of Cincinnati and University Hospital, is dedicated to patient care, research, education and the development of new treatments for stroke, brain and spinal tumors, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, trauma, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
The institute’s Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders is a regional referral center for patients in Greater Cincinnati and the surrounding four-state region. The center is currently engaged in 18 clinical trials, which include surgery, and numerous basic science research projects.
These include the study of the protective and restorative potential of neuregulins (growth factors involved in neurological functions), the accumulation of markers in brain cells as they degenerate with aging, side effects of standard medications, cellular and cell-signaling “trophic factor” replacement treatment, and embryonic development of cells lost in Parkinson’s disease.
The center is affiliated with the UC Department of Neurology, ranked 10th nationally in NIH-sponsored research funding, and the Mayfield Clinic, which includes 22 neurosurgeons and sees 20,000 patients from a dozen countries and 35 states in a typical year.