Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative neurological disorder caused by a loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain. Dopamine is a biological chemical that allows the muscles of the human body to move in a coordinated and smooth manner. Control of motor skills is greatly diminished when Parkinson’s occurs and the most common symptom of patients with the disease is the presence of a tremor, usually in the hand. Balance is also impaired, as muscles often cramp or become stiff, causing shuffling or slowness of movement. Other common symptoms include depression and a mask-like or expressionless face. Parkinson’s has no known cause and no present cure.

For more information please click on the organizations below.

The Brian Grant Foundation

Established in 2010, the Brian Grant Foundation supports efforts to build awareness and education of Parkinson’s disease in order to increase earlier diagnosis, educate patients and their families, and provide a viable forum for people affected by Parkinson’s. Its mission is to be an informational and inspirational resource for a community of people to live unique and fulfilling lives with Parkinson’s disease. After playing professional basketball for 12 seasons in the NBA, Brian Grant was diagnosed in November of 2008 at age 36 with young onset Parkinson’s disease. Since, he has become an advocate and an inspiration for those living with PD. The Brian Grant Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization.

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Powering Forward

Powering Forward is a program of the Brian Grant Foundation, which strives to be an informational and inspirational resource for a community of people empowered to live unique and fulfilling lives with Parkinson's disease. It is a place for the entire Parkinson's community to share stories and advice, ask questions and get the answers to live life to the fullest.

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Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively-funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today. The Michael J. Fox Foundation is the world’s largest private funder of research on Parkinson’s disease. Its on-staff team of leading neuroscience physicians and scientists review and monitor over 250 active grants to current research projects that are specifically dedicated to finding a cure for PD. There is no organization that is doing more than MJFF to further the science around this disease.

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Team Fox

Team Fox was launched in January 2006, and is the grassroots fundraising arm of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Team Fox provides guidance, tools and resources for the thousands of people all over the world who are working as individuals and groups to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson's research. Team Fox events and fundraisers contribute millions of dollars each year toward the efforts of MJFF.

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Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center

The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center (MAPC) and Movement Disorders Clinic is a National Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, and a wonderful resource for people with Parkinson's and their families. The Center was established in 1997 by Muhammad Ali, Jimmy Walker, a Phoenix philanthropist, and Dr. Abraham Lieberman. It is an important resource for Parkinson’s disease patients and their families, as it provides medical, rehabilitation, research, and social and educational services in one location. As Parkinson’s disease greatly impacts an individual’s ability to move, having all of those services in one place is a relief to patients, their families and caregivers.  With support groups, educational classes, research studies, assistance programs, conferences, recreational programs, and other services, the Center provides a premier program to anyone affected by Parkinson’s disease. The MAPC is housed within the Barrow Neurological Institute, which is an internationally-renowned research center for complex brain-related issues.

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The National Parkinson’s Foundation

The mission of the National Parkinson’s Foundation is to improve the quality of care for people with Parkinson’s disease through research, education and outreach. Since 1957, NPF has functioned as one of the most comprehensive providers of information about Parkinson’s disease and through its vast network of medical centers, doctors and other health care providers, it is the only organization that has a singular focus on improving care for PD patients. It provides a common place where patients and their families can find information, interact with others, find support groups, and ultimately improve their quality of life with Parkinson’s disease.

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Parkinson’s Disease Foundation

The mission of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation is to work towards, and fund, scientific research that will find the causes of Parkinson’s Disease and move towards a cure. Additionally, Parkinson’s Disease Foundation supports families, caregivers, and those living with Parkinson’s disease, through funding of educational programs and support services. Finally, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation has taken on the role of public advocate on behalf of, and in collaboration with, all those affected by Parkinson’s Disease.

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Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon

Since 1980, Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon (PRO), has provided personal support to patients and their families suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. With its focus on care and improving the quality of life for PD patients, the organization serves Oregon and Southwest Washington and is nationally recognized for its efforts. Services provided include support groups, wellness classes, a HELPLINE, and social workers. Additionally, PRO advocates for more research dollars and better patient care options with the overall goal of finding cutting-edge therapies for PD patients.

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Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation

The Northwest Parkinson's Foundation is a nonprofit organization established to improve quality of life for the Northwest Parkinson's Disease community. They achieve their mission through programs of awareness, education, advocacy and care.

In addition to producing educational resources, providing support to patients and caregivers, and advocating on behalf of Parkinson's families in their region and beyond, they are a partner in the Kirkland, Washington-based, Booth Gardner Parkinson's Care Center, which they co-founded with Evergreen Healthcare in 2000. This facility, a regional center of excellence in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease, houses Parkinson's-specializing physicians, neuropsychologists, physical and occupational therapists, speech and swallowing therapists, counselors and educators.

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American Parkinson’s Disease Association

APDA's National Resource Center for Rehabilitation, based at Boston University's Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, puts you in contact with a licensed physical therapist who can answer questions about exercise, provide information about programs in your area, and supply free educational materials about the benefits of exercise for people with PD

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APDA National Young Onset Center

The APDA National Young Onset Center focuses on developing education and support programs that address the unique needs of young people with Parkinson's disease, their family members, friends and healthcare providers.

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The Parkinson Center of Oregon

The Parkinson Center of Oregon (PCO), part of Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), was founded in 1979 and has become the premier center for Parkinson's disease in the Northwest. It has received a national designation as a center of excellence for Parkinson's disease care, education, and research.

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