UC Davis Health joins Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence

Parkinson's Global Care Network has grown to 54 centers in 10 countries

Margarida Maia, PhD avatar

by Margarida Maia, PhD |

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The Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration at the University of California (UC) Davis Health Department of Neurology will serve as a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence starting this month and for at least the next five years.

The center joins a Global Care Network that’s grown to 54 centers in 10 countries, including 40 in the U.S., all recognized for their expertise in Parkinson’s disease.

“We feel honored and proud to receive this recognition from the Parkinson’s Foundation,” Norika Malhado-Chang, MD, a health sciences clinical professor in the UC Davis Health Department of Neurology, said in a press release.

Three other Centers of Excellence and four Comprehensive Care Centers were also added to the network as part of its recent expansion.

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What is a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence?

Around 1 million people in the U.S. have Parkinson’s, and about 90,000 are diagnosed each year. There’s no cure for the disease, but there are medications and other treatments that can help manage its symptoms.

“As a caregiver to my mother with Parkinson’s, I am acutely aware of how challenging it is to coordinate the care needed for such a complex disease,” Malhado-Chang said.

A Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence is a medical center where a team of experts work together to ensure that people with Parkinson’s get access to the latest advancements in treatment and research.

The team can include neurologists, movement disorder specialists, physical and occupational therapists, mental health experts, and others who are up to date on how to best care for Parkinson’s.

“I was inspired by the vision of having experts in [Parkinson’s] collaborating across disciplines, all together in one clinic,” Malhado-Chang said. “I am grateful to work with amazing colleagues who all share my passion for providing people with [Parkinson’s] the best care possible. We make a fabulous team!”

The Department of Neurology is known for its Movement Disorders Program, which runs clinical studies and offers state-of-the-art care for Parkinson’s, such as surgical treatment with deep brain stimulation.

“This milestone reaffirms our commitment to providing exceptional care and advancing groundbreaking research,” said Lin Zhang, MD, PhD, who’s also a professor in the UC Davis Health Department of Neurology. “I am excited about the possibilities it brings for improving the lives of individuals living with Parkinson’s disease.”