Parkinson Canada research sparks meaningful impact

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Dr. Sean Udow visits Parkinson Canada’s Toronto office to record a public webinar and work on education resources. He recently completed a Parkinson Canada funded fellowship, but remains involved in the Parkinson community in several ways – as an educator, researcher, volunteer expert and clinician.

TORONTO, ON, September 28, 2016 – Parkinson Canada has great expectations for the 19 researchers receiving new grant, fellowship and student awards over the next two years. They will not only advance our knowledge of Parkinson’s, a complex brain disease, but also they will interpret and share their knowledge with other health professionals, often treat individuals living with Parkinson’s and continue their involvement with the Parkinson’s community.

This is the case with Dr. Sean Udow, who has recently honed his clinical skills, while investigating the potential connection between blood pressure fluctuations and cognitive deficits in people with Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies, at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Research Institute. His Garden Centre Group Co-op Corp. Clinical Movement Disorders Fellowship was awarded by the Parkinson Canada Research Program.

As Dr. Udow continues his training and research during a second fellowship year at Toronto Western Hospital, he is also a volunteer expert on Parkinson Canada’s Medical Advisory Committee, helping to produce evidence-based educational resources for health professionals and people living with Parkinson’s. Earlier this month he delivered a Parkinson Canada public webinar on Cognitive Impairment in Parkinson Disease. He’ll also be working with Parkinson Canada to survey people living with Parkinson’s and their caregivers about what issues they need their doctors to discuss with them. He’ll then develop an educational tool to help physicians explain these issues to their patients.

Ultimately, Dr. Udow will return to Winnipeg, Manitoba to practice as a movement disorders specialist, a medical specialty in high demand all across Canada. The training of such specialists is a mandate of the Parkinson Canada Research Program, as the evidence points to dramatically increasing demand for such expertise in the future. Every day, 25 Canadians learn they have Parkinson’s disease.

As of September 2016, Parkinson Canada is proud to support 19 new grants, fellowships and student awards*. These represent a total of $1,124,018 to support new research projects in Canada during the next two years. Including the nine research awards in their second year, and the 19 new projects, the Parkinson Canada Research Program will invest $1,439,018.

New awards include:

  • 7 Pilot Project Grants
  • 3 New Investigator Awards
  • 3 Basic Research Fellowships
  • 1 Clinical Movement Disorders Fellowship
  • 1 Clinical Research Fellowship
  • 4 Graduate Student Awards

The Parkinson Canada Research Program has funded 503 research projects, totaling more than $26 million, since 1981.

*A detailed list of the 2016-2018 researchers, their project titles, affiliations and funding amounts can be found at

Parkinson Canada is the largest, non-government funder of Parkinson’s research in Canada; investing in science that explores most aspects of the disease, including: causes, complications, cognitive impairment, biomarkers, neuroprotection and quality of life.

About the Parkinson Canada Research Program:

Since 1981, the Parkinson Canada Research Program has invested more than $26 million in research that has expanded our knowledge of Parkinson’s disease. The program invests in:

  • High-quality, innovative Canadian research by established and promising investigators.
  • Discovery-stage research where investigators test new theories and pursue promising new leads.
  • Researchers at the beginning of their careers in order to foster the next generation of Parkinson’s scientists.
  • Novel research to build greater capacity, promote creativity and engage more researchers.
  • Specialist training for clinicians to build capacity in high quality care for people with Parkinson’s.

The Parkinson Canada Research Program funds research into the cause, improved treatments, and understanding of Parkinson’s disease, and related disorders including: Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) and other forms of parkinsonism and the impact these diseases have on society.

About Parkinson Canada

Parkinson Canada is the voice of Canadians living with Parkinson’s disease. From diagnosis to discovery, since 1965 the organization provides education, advocacy and support services to people living with Parkinson’s, caregivers and health care professionals. Parkinson Canada Research Program funds innovative research to search for better treatments and a cure. Parkinson Canada is an Imagine Canada accredited organization. Visit


Contact: Kelly Mills
Parkinson Canada
416-227-3396 or 1-800-565-3000, ext. 3396