New Hope for Parkinson Sufferers

Summer 2000 CSANews Issue 35  |  Posted date : Mar 05, 2007.Back to list

New hope is on the horizon. The University of Toronto has targeted Parkinson's Disease research as a top academic priority. With the generous support of 1950 graduate Jack Clark (himself a Parkinson's patient) and his wife Mary, the university has recently established the Jack Clark Chair in Parkinson's Disease Research.....

Reprinted from CSA News 30, Winter 1998

A Perfect Ending and a New Beginning to This Story

U OF T APPOINTS INTERNATIONAL EXPERT TO JACK CLARK CHAIR IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE RESEARCH

The appointment of Dr. Anthony Lang, a professor of medicine and neurology at the University of Toronto, to the Jack Clark Chair in Parkinson's Disease Research establishes a new research specialty at the university. After conducting a search across the continent, the university chose Lang, who also heads the Movement Disorders Clinic at Toronto Western Hospital, for his expertise in bridging the distance from laboratory research to effective treatment of Parkinson's Disease, and for his commitment to working toward a cure.

"Dr. Lang brings immediate international profile and connections to our efforts," explains Dr. David Naylor, dean of U of T's Faculty of Medicine. "His appointment greatly increases our potential for a major breakthrough in five years."

Lang is known for his trials of new drug therapies and surgical treatments, and for establishing one of the most reputable clinics worldwide for the investigation and treatment of movement disorders. As the Jack Clark Chair, he will draw together U of T neuroscientists from different areas of basic science, clinical research and treatment, as their work relates to Parkinson's Disease. The chair will work within U of T's world-renowned centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

"We are thrilled that a scientist of Dr. Lang's calibre will hold the chair," says Mary Clark. "U of T has a powerful team of scientists, along with our fellow philanthropists, working toward a cure for all neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's Disease. We believe that with Dr. Lang at the helm, the university will become the world leader in Parkinson's Disease research."

Parkinson's Disease affects more than 100,000 Canadians annually. The disease progressively shuts down critical areas of the brain and seriously impairs a person's ability to function. Symptoms can begin even younger than age 40, and the incidence increases with age. Patients complain of tremors of the hand, arm or leg, difficulty with writing, slowness of movement, stiff muscles, halting speech, impaired gait, and a tendency to fall.