UAB Named Udall Centers for Excellence in Parkinson’s Research

Published: Dec. 20, 2018 at 10:30 AM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - UAB’s Department of Neurology has been named a Udall Centers for Excellence in Parkinson’s disease, which means researchers in Birmingham will receive a five year renewable grant to try to find a cure for Parkinson’s.

The grant is named after the late Arizona Senator, Morris Udall, who died of Parkinson’s in 1998.

Following his death, the National Institutes of Health set up centers around the country to study various aspects of Parkinson’s.

Dr. David Standaert , chair of UAB’s Department of Neurology, will be leading this new study in Birmingham.

“What I wanted to do here at UAB was to build a center that could really push the envelope on Parkinson’s research,” said Dr. Standaert, “Our center is really focused on the immune system and inflammation in Parkinson’s disease. That’s unique. None of the other centers are pursuing that angle.”

Dr. Standaert believes if scientists can find a way to interrupt the immune system, they will be able to slow down the progression of Parkinson’s, which would be the first step towards finding a cure.

“Many of them [patients] will tell me ‘you know I have symptoms, I have tremors, I feel a bit slow, but that’s not what bothers me. What bothers me is thinking about my future and if you could tell me that these symptoms that maybe they are permanent but at least they won’t get any worse’ many of my patients would be very satisfied with that,” said Dr. Standaert.

The study will use 60 newly diagnosed Parkinson’s patients and 60 control patients.

You can read more about the study here.

You can read more about the Udall Centers for Excellence in Parkinson’s disease here.

If you would like more information about this study, you can call UAB’s Movement Center at 205-934-0683.

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