Parkinson’s Conference – Save The Date!
Health Care Providers Council of Pierce County in partnership with the American Parkinson Disease Association is pleased to be hosting its first ever Parkinson’s Conference in Pierce County.
Friday, May 5, 2023
10:00am – 3:30pm
Rainier View Christian Church
12305 Spanaway Loop Road S, Tacoma
This will be a one-day event completely focused on the subject of Parkinsons. Spend the day with a slate of national and local Parkinson’s disease experts. This conference is focused on health, wellness, movement and research, and is designed to educate, inspire and empower those impacted by Parkinson’s Disease.
The Featured Speaker will be Dr. Rebecca Gilbert, Movement Disorders Neurologist APDA Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer.
Driven by a passion for discovery, Dr. Rebecca Gilbert, Ph.D. ’02, M.D. ’03, chose neurology in part because it’s a specialty in which so much remains unexplored. “Although something like cardiology or nephrology might be very interesting, I didn’t want to go into a field where the basic knowledge was firm,” she says. “We know very little of what actually goes on in the brain. It felt like something I could spend my life learning about.” As chief scientific officer of the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA)—a grassroots organization, headquartered on Staten Island, that works to support patients, educate the public and provide research funding— Dr. Gilbert is playing a key role in the battle against one of the world’s most common neurological disorders, affecting about a million people in the United States and 10 million globally. In the post since spring 2018, after nearly a decade as a movement disorders specialist at NYU, Dr. Gilbert oversees the nonprofit’s research grant program, offers expert opinions in the press, spearheads development of the APDA’s research strategy, ensures the scientific accuracy of the information it disseminates to the public, authors a blog and more.
What’s the state of Parkinson’s treatment today?
Generally, treatments are conceptualized as either symptomatic or disease-modifying—medications that help symptoms or those that may alter the course of disease. For Parkinson’s, unfortunately, there are no approved medications for that second category; the Holy Grail is to find a medicine that slows down the disease or halts its progression. Right now, the only thing that can be done is symptom management. Parkinson’s is varied, and it has multiple effects on the body. Everybody knows that it affects how people move; it makes them slow and stiff and they can have tremors and problems with balance. Many of those problems come from a degeneration of the cells that release dopamine, a chemical in the brain that allows nerves to communicate with each other. However, there are other aspects of the disease that can affect mood, cognition, sleep, blood pressure management, gut and bowel function, urinary function—the list goes on. So Parkinson’s doesn’t just affect these dopamine-producing nerves, it affects all sorts of areas in the brain and nerves throughout the body.
Come and learn more on May 5th! Stay tuned for more information.