German PPMI sites featured in Der Nervenarzt

This article was originally published in German, and has been translated into English.

International biomarker study is to bring a breakthrough in the prevention of Parkinson’s disease

New York / Kassel / Marburg / Tübingen, 23 January 2012 – Designed by the Parkinson’s disease suffering actor, Michael J. Fox launched Michael J. Fox Foundation, which strives to improve with a unique historic research project on early detection and prevention of this currently incurable disease. With strong German participation sought by the “Parkinson’s Progression Biomarker Initiative” (PPMI), which will last five years and is equipped with 45 million dollars, to be able to diagnose at an early stage for reliable biomarkers for the disease in the future and the disease mechanisms better. Study participants are still urgently needed.

Up to 200,000 people in Germany suffer from Parkinson’s disease, and rising. For those affected, the diagnosis is often devastating, because on the one hand there is no causal therapy and on the other hand, the disease at diagnosis is already advanced. If the disease is diagnosed early, could be enforced by the existing drugs to patients for a longer symptom-free period. Moreover, one could try to try the medium term, with delay in the development of new therapies that further progression of Parkinson’s disease or halt it. This is initiated by the Michael J. Fox Foundation PPMI with the aim of finding objectively measurable indicators that will help at least a quick and reliable testing for Parkinson’s disease should be possible. Also, new insights into the cellular mechanisms of disease – the foundation for developing an effective therapy – promise, the initiators and participated in the study German Research Association.

“The study is extremely important for the future treatment of Parkinson’s patients. Biomarkers are a hand in the early diagnosis and to identify possible risk groups and also for understanding the disease process is crucial and thus fundamental to the development of new treatments and medications,” says Dr. Brit Mollenhaeur, head of the PPMI study at the Paracelsus-Elena-Klinik, Kassel.

Strong participation of German Research Centres
The PPMI will be conducted at 24 clinical sites in the U.S., Europe and Australia. With the Paracelsus-Elena Klinik, in cooperation with the Department of Neurology, University Hospital Marburg and the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University Hospital Tübingen, two of the five European study centers of the German Research Area, which its leading position in Europe in the treatment and research illustrated by Parkinson’s patients. For this study, a total of 400 newly diagnosed Parkinson’s patients and 200 control subjects were studied. A tenth of them at the study sites in Kassel / Marburg and Tübingen. Additional centers in Europe are the University Hospital of Innsbruck, and centers in London and Naples.

Michael J. Fox Foundation
The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) is the largest private sponsor of Parkinson’s research and is committed to develop as quickly as possible, a cure for Parkinson’s approach and better therapies for affected patients. The Foundation pursues its goals through extensive financial support for targeted research programs involving scientists, Parkinson’s patients, business leaders, participants in clinical trials, donors and volunteers worldwide. So far, the foundation has spent more than 275 million U.S. dollars to support research projects, of which flowed over 8 million U.S. dollars in research projects in Germany on a cure for Parkinson’s disease-oriented research projects.

Click here to view the original article in German, as published by Der Nervenarzt.