Clinical Trial Needs, Southern Symposium and NOLA!

I have previously posted about the need for clinical trial participants.  I have joined Fox rial Finder which has a large database of trials and provides a list of possible research opportunities based on your desired parameters (distance from home, # of years with PD, etc.).  Mara and I recently matched up for a trial being conducted at the University of Alabama Sparks Center, Mara as a control and I as a PD patient.  The trail is called LRRK2 and Other Novel Exosome Proteins in Parkinson’s Disease (that’s a mouthful!)  LRRK2 is one of the genetic markers closely associated with development of Parkinson’s Disease.   The official description is as follows:

“This proposal seeks to 1) determine whether there are biomarkers associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD) susceptibility and/or progression in exosome-proteomes derived from PD patients versus controls, and 2) to determine if LRRK2 expression and/or phosphorylation are significantly lowered in the exosomes of individuals treated with the potent LRRK2 inhibitor sunitinib (a multi-kinase inhibitor compound), to establish an assay for on-target effects for future LRRK2 inhibitor clinical trials.”

Sounds pretty intimidating but all that is required now is giving urine and blood samples and Mara will be given the  PD Screening questionnaire and I will be tested to verify my PD diagnoses. They expect it will take about 1.5 hours and we have an appointment next week, so I will provide an update after the visit.

Speaking of clinical trials, Michael J Fox Foundation has a need for PwP’s to participate in BioFIND, a study also looking for PD biomarkers. Participation in BioFIND requires only two visits to a clinical site in a two-week period. The visits will include a combination of clinical assessments, sample collection and written surveys. With the aim to complete recruitment as soon as possible, BioFIND needs volunteers now.  Go to this link to find out if you are eligible and if there is a site near you. (I am not eligible as I haven’t been diagnosed for more than 4 years)

We are in Spartanburg SC for the Parkinson’s Disease Southern Symposium which starts tomorrow and runs for 4 days.  Based on the agenda, it looks like we will be busy!  We are looking forward to meeting old friends and making new friends.  The agenda includes a screening of Capturing Grace, the documentary by Dave Iverson and attending the Davis Phinney Foundation Victory Summit, an all day event about living with Parkinson’s.

We had a great time in NOLA (New Orleans LA), attending a wedding and then spending a few days with friends touring the town.  The weather was perfect and we enjoyed the sights, sounds, and food of the French Quarter which included a beignet and coffee at Cafe Du Monde.  Our favorite spot for breakfast was TOAST a small restaurant just a block from the house we rented in Uptown.  They had a great mural on the wall as you can see in this photo.

I know this is the second post without discussing my experiences brewing beer but I promise it will make the next one, it should be ready to taste early next week.  See you then.

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