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September 2005 Issue

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Six Parkinsons's Disease Experts Join UC

Published September 2005

The Academic Health Center has accelerated Cincinnati's effort to combat Parkinson's disease by recruiting six experts in the field.

The six, four of them internationally known scientists who have joined UC as a group from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, will work with existing Parkinson's teams at the Neuroscience Institute at UC and University Hospital.

"From this time forward, no one from the Tristate area who suffers from Parkinson's disease need go any place else for treatment," says Joseph Broderick, MD, chair of the Department of Neurology.

"These new recruits, working together in the lab and at the bedside, will make UC one of only a few places in the country with clinicians, surgeons and scientists who are collaborating closely to find new treatments for Parkinson's disease," says Dr. Broderick.

UC's six new recruits are:

They will be working closely with UC neurologist Fredy Revilla, MD, head of the Division of Movement Disorders, neurosurgeon George Mandybur, MD, and Kim Seroogy, PhD, director of the Selma Schottenstein Harris Laboratory for Research in Parkinson's Disease.

A neurological disease that progressively robs its victims of motor skills, such as the ability to control movement and speech, Parkinson's affects 1.5 million people nationwide, striking most when they are in their late 50s. The disease gained international attention when it claimed the life of Pope John Paul II. Actor Michael J. Fox, whose Michael J. Fox Foundation provides thousands of dollars to researchers, also suffers from the disease.

Last year, Dr. Seroogy received a four-year, $250,000 Michael J. Fox Foundation grant to continue his research. Dr. Sortwell and Dr. Steece-Collier also each hold a $250,000 grant from the Fox foundation.

"Recruitment of these scientists and physicians reinforces a recent pattern of multidisciplinary, cross-department recruiting at UC," says Dr. Broderick. "The Neuroscience Institute at UC and University Hospital now has the mass of experts needed to comprehensively approach Parkinson's disease from both a research and a clinical perspective.

"The bottom line is that we are focused on finding different ways to prevent and slow down the progression of the disease, going beyond just giving medications to treat the symptoms. The more that basic scientists and clinicians work together, the more apt we are to discover new treatments.

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