Parkinson Alberta Announces $200,000 in Funds to Support Research in Alberta

November 25, 2014



Edmonton, AB, November 25, 2014 – Parkinson Alberta believes that there is HOPE for today and tomorrow through research. 


“Research is one of our four pillars,” said John Petryshen, Parkinson Alberta CEO.  “We are confident that the dollars we contribute today bring us closer to discoveries that make a difference in the day-today lives of people affected by Parkinson disease; and ultimately, a cure.”


Research for Parkinson disease has been undervalued; and currently there are limited funds that support research for Parkinson disease and other movement disorders.  In order to raise the profile of this complex neurological condition, Parkinson Alberta has undertaken a two-pronged approach.  One, to promote the value of research by showcasing Alberta research and researchers, and to highlight the diversity of research taking place right here in Alberta.  Two, invest in research here in Alberta, as well as nationally and internationally. To that end, in 2013 Parkinson Alberta Board of Directors initiated a Research Committee, led by Dr. Oksana Suchowersky to steward research funds.   And, this year, Parkinson Alberta pledged to match funds raised via donations to research and our Champions of Hope Program to further medical research and innovation on the Parkinson disease front.


“On behalf of Parkinson Alberta, I am pleased to announce $200,000 in funds to be designated for research here in Alberta,” stated Dr. Oksana Suchowersky, PA Board Member and Chair of the Research Committee.  “The $100,000 in donations from Albertans speaks to the public’s dedication to a brighter future for those with Parkinson disease; while Parkinson Alberta’s matching contribution is a testament to our commitment to our mission, our clients, and all who are affected by this devastating disease.”


Parkinson’s initiatives taking place at the University of Alberta, University of Calgary, and University of Lethbridge will be supported utilizing these funds.  This funding opportunity will provide researchers with the resources to allocate time, energy and expertise to Parkinson disease.  At the same time it will provide an excellent training opportunity for students and junior researchers, thereby creating a new generation of Parkinson’s researchers.




Please note that arrangements can be made for interviews with Dr. Oksana Suchowersky; please contact:


Media Contact:
Brandi La Bonte

Community Relations & Communications

Parkinson Alberta
p: 780-868-6460|



About Parkinson Alberta:

·        Parkinson Alberta has a 40+ year history of helping to make every day better for Albertans affected by Parkinson disease.

·        Parkinson Alberta is a standalone, Alberta-based charitable organization

·        100% of the money raised here funds the best services, resources and research to benefit Albertans

·        Parkinson Alberta provides support services, programming, education, advocacy and funds for research

·        Parkinson Alberta operates six offices (Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, and Red Deer) and offers support groups and programming in 22 communities across the province.


About Parkinson disease:

·        Thousands of Albertans are coping with the slow deterioration of their bodies every day; there is no cure, but there is hope;

·        Approximately 800 Albertans will be diagnosed with Parkinson disease in 2014; that’s just over 2 people per day;

·        The average age of diagnoses is approximately 56;

·        20% of people with Parkinson disease are diagnosed before 50 years of age;

·        50% of those with Parkinson disease suffer from depression;

·        40% will develop difficulty chewing and swallowing;

·        89% will develop difficulty speaking; many develop a soft voice and can barely whisper; and

·        The average monthly expenses for one person living with Parkinson disease is $1,000 to cover costs of support services, education, transportation and medication.

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