Upstate News

June 2, 2003
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Medical advances in neuroprotection featured at June 21 Parkinson’s conference

Medical experts will discuss recent advances in neuroprotection at the 4th annual Parkinson’s Disease Conference Saturday, June 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Holiday Inn on Electronics Parkway in Liverpool.

This is an educational forum for patients and caregivers. Co-hosts will be the Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery at SUNY Upstate Medical University and the Parkinson’s Support Group (PSG) of Syracuse, the local National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) chapter.

The $15 registration fee for the program and lunch is payable to the Upstate Medical University Foundation and should be sent to the Department of Neurology, Room 6414 University Hospital, 750 East Adams St., Syracuse, NY 13210. Advance registration by June 13 is encouraged, but all will be welcome. Donations will support Parkinson’s disease research and education programs. Further information is available from Richard Olson, PSG president, at 315-652-6857 or e-mail

Burk Jubelt, M.D., professor and chair of Neurology at SUNY Upstate and PSG medical director, will moderate the panel discussion and question-answer session on neuroprotection, a therapy being researched as a way to slow progression of Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative motor system/movement disorder.

“Updating Neuroprotection” will be John Duda, M.D., co-director of the Parkinson222s Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center of the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Duda is assistant professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he does research on molecular and genetic pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease and related disorders with support from NPF, the National Institutes of Health and others.

“Is CoQ10 Neuroprotective?— is a question many patients with Parkinson’s disease have. The question will be answered by Karl Kieburtz, M.D., M.P.H., professor of neurology and community and preventive medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Kieburtz has been an active participant in the research activities of the Parkinson Study Group since 1989, and he directs the Coordination Center for this and other multi-center academic consortia. He does clinical practice and research in treatment of neurodegenerative disease affecting the basal ganglia, including Parkinson’s.

The panel discussion will also feature Dragos Mihaila, M.D., assistant professor and director of Upstate’s Neurology Department’s Parkinson’s Disease Program. He is also affiliated with Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center and is PSG education director.

The conference addresses a range of issues—medical, housing, financial and psycho social—that concern people dealing with Parkinson’s. The other topics and speakers will be “A Specialized Residence for Parkinson’s/Movement Disorder Patients” by Tony Joseph, director of the Presbyterian Home’s Parkinson’s/ Movement Disorder Residence in New Hartford; “Financial Planning Alternatives for Patients and Caregivers” by Florence M. Peters, a NASD-registered representative of Cadaret Grant & Co.; a financial services specialist and experienced workshop instructor for Onondaga Community College, BOCES, libraries and businesses; “Psycho-Social Concerns” by the Rev. Paul A. Metzler, D. Min., an Episcopal priest, psychotherapist and director of The Center for Living with Loss, Hospice of C.N.Y.

Approximately 3 million people in the U.S. have Parkinson’s-like disorders, 1.5 million of whom have been diagnosed with the disease. To diagnose Parkinson disease, patients must have at least two of Parkinson’s four main symptoms: resting tremor, slowness of movement, stiffness, and trouble walking.

The mission of the Parkinson’s Support Group of Syracuse is to educate patients, their caregivers and the general public; and to improve the quality of life for both patients and caregivers. Besides the annual conference, it convenes six support group sessions at various sites throughout Central New York.

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