Free Webinar to Explain New Parkinson’s Research to Be Hosted by FMM and Partner Groups

Ana de Barros, PhD avatar

by Ana de Barros, PhD |

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Parkinson's disease research

The free Hope Flies Health Series Webinar: Research Connecting Parkinson’s Disease and Mitochondrial Disease is scheduled for 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, April 6.

The event is hosted by the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine (FMM) and partners Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF), Wilkins Parkinson’s Foundation and Sharecare, to widen awareness about mitochondrial disease and its connection to Parkinson’s disease (PD).

During the webinar, which will be free of charge, though advance registration is needed, participants will be able to learn more about the scientific connection and research interests between mitochondria and Parkinson’s disease. Topics will include an overview of Parkinson’s and the challenges faced today by patients; progress that has been made by science; and new research being conducted in Parkinson’s and mitochondrial function.

In addition, updates on scientific progress and presentations on mitochondrial disease management by patients and caregivers will also be featured at the event.

According to a press release, panelists for the webinar include:

  • Wolfdieter Springer, Ph.D., assistant professor of neuroscience at the Mayo Clinic, who will provide an update on his primary research focus – the molecular and cellular mechanisms behind the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease and other associated neurodegenerative disorders;
  • Laura Stanley, executive director of FMM;
  • Bill Wilkins, founder of the Wilkins Parkinson’s Foundation.

And to moderate the event:

  • Darria Gillespie, M.D., MBA, FACEP, SVP Clinical Strategy of Sharecare.

Mitochondrial disease results from failure of the mitochondria, the energy components that exist in human cells. Mitochondria generate over 90 percent of the energy the body needs to sustain life and support growth, and if they fail, less and less energy is generated within each cell, leading to cell injury and eventually cellular death. Systems might begin to fail due to a chain reaction, and patients’ lives are severely compromised.

The webinar will serve as a platform for experts to share the latest developments on a specific research study co-funded by the FMM and MJFF that explores the link between mitochondria and Parkinson’s disease. The link activates and stabilizes the Parkin protein, which might allow it to break down impaired mitochondria and prevent cellular death in some patients. Stabilizing the Parkin protein will be a positive outcome for both Parkinson’s disease and mitochondrial disease.

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