Yoga teacher training seminar coming to Waltham, MA

December 15th, 2011

On Saturday, January 21, 2012, TriYoga of Boston will host a half-day seminar for yoga teachers. It will present teachers with strategies and safety tips they can use to guide students who have limitations associated with movement disorders. Participants will learn about Parkinson’s disease and how yoga can be best used to help with strength, balance, and flexibility. The afternoon will include asana practice as well as interactive group sessions led by a certified yoga instructor living with Parkinson’s and health care professionals specializing in Parkinson’s.

The seminar costs $50 and includes lunch. Registration is required. To register, contact the Information & Referral Center at (800) 651-8466. For more information, please see the event flyer.

Date: Saturday, January 21, 2011

Time: 12:30 to 5:30pm

Location: TriYoga of Boston – 60 Prospect Street – Waltham, MA 02154

Boston Medical Center designated a DaTScan Center of Excellence

October 13th, 2011

A new type of imaging scan called DaTScanTM has been recently approved by the FDA to be used to improve the diagnosis of Parkinsonian disorders. Boston University Medical Center, an APDA Advanced Center of Excellence, is among the first institutions in the country to offer this scan. The scan is done at Boston Medical Center in the Department of Nuclear Medicine.

Developed by GE Healthcare, DaTScanTM is an imaging drug that is used to detect the presence of dopamine in the brain. This visual evidence of dopamine producing cells in the basal ganglia, a primary movement center of the brain, can help doctors to distinguish Parkinsonism from other  disorders causing similar symptoms, when combined with clinical assessments.

Patients undergoing this test have DaTScanTM injected into their bloodstream and then pictures are taken of the brain by a gamma camera. The specialized camera is used to produce a single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scan. The images from SPECT scans combine to provide a picture of brain function rather than structure, allowing the doctor to see changes in the chemistry of the brain.

Identifying the amount of dopamine present in the brain is important because it is decreased in patients who have  Parkinsonian syndromes . The test enables physicians to differentiate between PD and Essential Tremor, or certain other causes of Parkinsonism such as medication-induced Parkinsonism or vascular Parkinsonism. It does not, however, differentiate between the various Parkinsonian syndromes which include Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), and Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB).

Boston Medical Center has been designated a DaTScanTM Imaging Center of Excellence and has extensive experience using DaTscanTM in the biomarker study, Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), which is sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation. Boston Medical Center is one of fourteen US medical centers currently enrolling for this study.

For more information on DaTScanTM, please visit this link DaTScan. For more information on the PPMI Study, please visit this link Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative Study (PPMI).

New study recruiting at Sargent College, Boston University

October 6th, 2011

The Center for Neurorehabilitation at Sargent College, Boston University invites you to participate in a research study to promote walking in people with Parkinson’s disease. Participants will be given a pedometer to measure the amount of walking done over one month. The pedometer is a small device kept in your pocket or on your waist to measure how many steps you take each day. Participants will also be given a small computer to take home. The computer contains an automated exercise advisor – this advisor appears as an animated cartoon character that talks to you from the computer. With only five minutes of use each day, this program is designed to help you increase your walking.

For more information, please click here.

2nd Annual Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Program Takes Place in Boston

August 11th, 2011


Recognizing the important role nurses play in the care of patients and families living with Parkinson’s disease, the Edmond J. Safra Foundation awarded a grant to support the second annual Visiting Nurse Faculty Program. The program was held June 20th to 24th at Boston University Medical Center. The goal of this program was to provide up-to-date information on the care needs of Parkinson patients to faculty. This information and experience can then be shared with students to better prepare them for their role as nurses. This year, nursing faculty from the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth, Worcester State College, and Saint Anselm College were selected to participate.

Program content included signs and symptoms of PD, diagnosis, medical and surgical management,  the role of nursing and interdisciplinary care, basic science and clinical research, resources, and family care. Opportunity was provided to meet patients and family during actual clinic visits. Faculty spent one full day at Boston University’s Neurorehabilitation Center learning about the important role of exercise and other rehabilitative therapies. Each participant will work on a Parkinson’s disease independent project.

This Visiting Nursing Faculty (VNF) program was developed and successfully piloted in 2009 by Gwyn Vernon MSN, CRNP and Lisette Bunting-Perry, PhD(c), RN at the University of Pennsylvania. Cathi Thomas, MS, RN, CNRN served as BU’s program director. To learn more about the Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty visit

Dr. Samuel Frank & Dr. Anna Hohler Featured on August Edition of “Physician Focus” Television Program

August 1st, 2011

Boston Medical Center Parkinson’s disease specialists Dr. Samuel Frank and Dr. Anna Hohler participated in the August edition of Physician Focus with the Massachusetts Medical Society. The show took an in-depth look at Parkinson’s disease. Physician Focus is available in 260 communities across Massachusetts.

Click here to watch this edition of Physician Focus.

Dr. Samuel Frank featured in Boston Globe

May 16th, 2011

On Monday, May 16th, Dr. Samuel Frank, Neurologist with the Boston University Medical Campus Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center was featured in the Health and Wellness section of the Boston Globe.

Dr. Frank spoke about the progression of Parkinson’s disease symptoms and when treatment typically begins.

To read the complete article, please click here.

25th Annual APDA Parkinson’s Disease Walk-A-Thon June 5th 2011

April 6th, 2011

The APDA MA Chapter will be holding its 25th Annual Parkinson Walkathon on Sunday, June 5, 2011 at the Reebok International Headquarters in Canton, MA. Every year, the Walkathon raises funds to support crucial Parkinson’s disease research. 100% of the proceeds from this event are donated to research approved by the APDA Scientific Advisory Board to continue with the organization’s mission “To Ease the Burden – Find the Cure.”

For more information or to donate and register, please Click Here. If you have further questions, please contact the I & R Center at or at 800-651-8466.

4th Annual Parkinson’s disease Healthcare Professional Seminar- May 6 & 7, 2011

February 23rd, 2011

We are pleased to announce the Fourth Annual Parkinson’s Disease Seminar for Healthcare Professionals at Boston University May 6 & 7, 2011.  This unique course continues to provide a cutting-edge, evidenced-based update on the medical and rehabilitative management of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD).  Movement disorder experts from Boston University have partnered with the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) to bring the latest developments in the field to healthcare professionals invested in providing high quality care to people with PD.  For 2011, we have brought back our excellent speakers from last year and invited some additional experts to participate.

Participants will be provided the tools to become resource clinicians in their practice settings in order to optimize the delivery of care to people with PD and their significant others.

To download brochure please click here .  For more information, call The Center for Neurorehabilitation at Boston University at 617-353-7525 or visit our website at

Dr. Samuel Frank Interviewed on Cape and Island NPR Station WCAI about Parkinson’s Disease and the PPMI Research Study

December 22nd, 2010

On Monday, December 20th Dr. Samuel Frank, Neurologist with the Boston University Medical Campus Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center and Principal Investigator in the PPMI (Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative) Trial, was interviewed by Mindy Todd on The Point, a radio show on WCAI (Cape and Islands NPR Station).

Dr. Frank spoke about the search for a biomarker for Parkinson’s disease. A biomarker is a substance or characteristic in our bodies that is associated with the presence of the disease.

To listen to Dr. Frank’s extensive interview, Click Here.

Boston University Medical Center Joins Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) As Official Study Site

October 7th, 2010

— $40-million, five-year observational clinical study, sponsored by Michael J. Fox Foundation,
will seek biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease  —

Enrollment Contacts:
~ Raymond C. James, RN, BS
(617) 638-7745 
~ Cathi A. Thomas, RN, MS 
(617) 638-7737

Boston, Massachusetts, October, 2010 —  Boston University Medical Center announced that it is one of 18 official study sites for the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), a landmark observational clinical study sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation, which will use a combination of advanced imaging, biologics sampling and behavioral assessments to identify biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease progression. Enrollment of 20 patients and 10 controls at Boston University Medical Center is expected to begin in June/Summer and will continue for approximately two years.

“PPMI holds potential not only to accelerate the development of breakthrough Parkinson’s treatments for the future, but also to improve diagnosis and treatment of today’s generation of PD patients,” said Dr. Samuel Frank. “Boston University Medical Center has been at the forefront of Parkinson’s disease research for years in Boston, Massachusetts. It is deeply meaningful to have been selected as a PPMI site and to have our commitment to speeding Parkinson’s solutions recognized.”

Said Michael J. Fox: “This is an ambitious undertaking, no doubt. But nothing worth having comes easily. Everything we’ve learned up to now, the partnerships we’ve worked to forge, the results of research we’ve funded — it’s all put us in position to launch this effort. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and, hopefully, get this done.”

Biomarkers: Mission-critical for Parkinson’s Drug Development

A biomarker could be any objectively measurable physical characteristic associated with the presence of disease (diagnostic or risk marker) or any characteristic that changes over time in a way that can be tied to the progression of disease (progression marker).

“There is no doubt that finding a biomarker is critical to the development of next-generation therapies, and that the lack of this tool is among the most critical issues facing the PD research field,” said Katie Hood, CEO of The Michael J. Fox Foundation. “MJFF has funded biomarker discovery efforts for years. Now we are poised for a concerted, unified effort that will take these discoveries to the next level.”
The lack of a PD biomarker impedes PD diagnosis and treatment, and also critically stalls the development of improved therapies, particularly therapies to slow or stop the progression of PD, something no currently available treatment can do. Clinical trials of new, potentially disease-modifying Parkinson’s treatments are at risk of yielding inconclusive results, because there is no way to measure the effects of those treatments objectively.

About The Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI)
PPMI, a groundbreaking study to find biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease, will be carried out over five years at 19 clinical sites in the United States and Europe. The study will enroll 400 de novo Parkinson’s patients (patients who are newly diagnosed and have not yet taken PD medication) and 200 healthy age-matched controls. Participants will undergo tests including motor, neuropsychiatric and cognitive examinations; brain imaging with DatSCAN and MRI; and blood, CSF, urine and DNA sampling. For information on enrolling in PPMI, please contact site coordinator Ray James, RN, BS at (617) 638-7745.

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation
The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to ensuring the development of better treatments, and ultimately a cure, for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda. MJFF has funded over $175 million in research to date. 

About Boston University Medical Center
Boston University Medical Center is a private, not-for-profit, academic medical center located in Boston’s historic South End. Boston Medical Center is the primary teaching affiliate for Boston University School of Medicine. Boston Medical Center emphasizes community-based care, with its mission to provide consistently accessible health services to all. The largest safety net hospital in New England, Boston Medical Center provides a full spectrum of pediatric and adult care services, from primary to family medicine to advanced specialty care. With the largest 24- hour Level I trauma center in New England.

For more information, please visit the link below:

The Michael J. Fox Foundation – PPMI

December 15, 2011
Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine