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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Free Parkinson's Conference for Caregivers

November 10, 2010

Site Investigator Eugene C. Lai, M.D., Ph.D., (right) director of the Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Center examines Air Force Veteran James Young while Staff Neurologists Aliya Sarwar, M.D. and Jyh-Gong Hou, M.D. (left) observe.
PHOTO: Bobbi Gruner, Public Affairs Officer.

 

Free Conference for Caregivers of Patients with Parkinson’s Disease:
“Opportunities for Learning and Practical Experiences”.

WHAT: The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Parkinson's Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center and the Houston Area Parkinson Society are co-sponsoring their annual conference for caregivers and families of patients with Parkinson's disease.

WHEN: Saturday, December 4, 2010, 8:30 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.

WHERE:
United Way of Greater Houston
50 Waugh Drive
Houston, TX 77007.

REGISTRATION: This event is free and open to the public; however, seating is limited and registration is required by Tuesday, November 30, 2010. To register, contact Kathleen Crist at HAPS at 713-626-7114 or e-mail crist@hapsonline.org.

CONTACT: For more information, contact Marilyn Trail at 713-794-7287 or e-mail mtrail@bcm.edu or Naomi Nelson at 713-794-8938 or e-mail naomi.nelson@va.gov.

BACKGROUND: This free conference is designed to educate caregivers and family members on how to care for their loved ones who have Parkinson's disease. The event will feature sessions on speech, swallowing, community resources, stress reduction, cognitive issues, equipment to help independence, and tips on how to help patients overcome motor problems associated with the disease. Also included will be training classes in how to help patients get in and out of bed, rise from a chair, and techniques for easier mobility.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) took a major step toward improving patient care and pursuing a cure for Parkinson’s disease by establishing six Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education and Clinical Centers (PADRECCs), one at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston.

Operating as a national consortium, each PADRECC conducts research covering basic biomedicine, rehabilitation, health services delivery, and clinical trials. Each is participating in a landmark clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of surgical implantation of deep brain stimulators in reducing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

The National Parkinson Foundation, Inc. estimates that up to 1.5 million Americans have Parkinson’s disease and that approximately 50,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. VA medical centers treat at least 40,000 Parkinson’s disease patients every year.


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