On the 26 February (1969), Mali Jenkins founded ‘The Parkinson’s Disease Society’ (now Parkinson’s UK) in a one-room office in Putney, London.
The Society initially had 3 aims:
This year (2019) represents the 50th anniversary of the organisation.
In today’s post, we will discuss how the organisation has grown and where they are heading to in the future.
Source: Parkinson’s foundation
In 2017, the SoPD missed a trick.
We should have observed the 60th Anniversary of the Parkinson’s Foundation.
It is a fantastic resource for the Parkinson’s community, and it has a particularly interesting history as it started in two different places at basically the same time.
In 2016, the National Parkinson Foundation merged with the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation to form the Parkinson’s Foundation.
The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation was started in 1957 by businessman William Black – founder of a New York restaurant business, Chock Full O’Nuts.
William Black. Source: NYTimes
He started the Foundation after discovering that his controller and close friend had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
Mr. Black used his own money to establish the Foundation and funded the initiation of a major research center for Parkinson’s at Columbia University medical school.
At the same time that Mr Black was going about his good work, in Miami (Florida), Mrs. Jeanne C. Levey founded the National Parkinson Foundation after her husband was diagnosed with the condition.
For 22 years, until her death at age 92, Mrs. Levey nurtured the Foundation and watched it grow.
The lady in the middle is Jeanne Levey. Source: Gerald R. Ford Museum
These foundations served as two of the primary support services for people with Parkinson’s in the USA until their merger in 2016.
Anyways, having slipped up in 2017 and missed an opportunity, we will try to be more vigilant of anniversaries going forward.
That said, it is time to apologise for not acknowledging the 50th anniversary of Parkinson’s UK earlier this year.
When did Parkinson’s UK start?
At the end of each year, it is a useful practise to review the triumphs (and failures) of the past 12 months. It is an exercise of putting everything into perspective.
2017 has been an incredible year for Parkinson’s research.
And while I appreciate that statements like that will not bring much comfort to those living with the condition, it is still important to consider and appreciate what has been achieved over the last 12 months.
In this post, we will try to provide a summary of the Parkinson’s-related research that has taken place in 2017 (Be warned: this is a VERY long post!)
The number of research reports and clinical trial studies per year since 1817
As everyone in the Parkinson’s community is aware, in 2017 we were observing the 200th anniversary of the first description of the condition by James Parkinson (1817). But what a lot of people fail to appreciate is how little research was actually done on the condition during the first 180 years of that period.
The graphs above highlight the number of Parkinson’s-related research reports published (top graph) and the number of clinical study reports published (bottom graph) during each of the last 200 years (according to the online research search engine Pubmed – as determined by searching for the term “Parkinson’s“).
PLEASE NOTE, however, that of the approximately 97,000 “Parkinson’s“-related research reports published during the last 200 years, just under 74,000 of them have been published in the last 20 years.
That means that 3/4 of all the published research on Parkinson’s has been conducted in just the last 2 decades.
And a huge chunk of that (almost 10% – 7321 publications) has been done in 2017 only.
So what happened in 2017? Continue reading