The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) will host a Clinical Trials Fair in New York City on Saturday, October 19, to raise awareness and understanding of local Parkinson’s research opportunities among patients, their families and friends, and other interested volunteers.

“I am grateful to the researchers, neurologists and everyone in the Parkinson’s community for their contributions and dedication to the pursuit of a cure,” said Parkinson’s patient Steve DeWitte, who will speak on a panel at the fair. “But there’s one thing patients must do ourselves: participate in clinical trials. By making the decision to get involved in research, we can help overcome a major roadblock on the path to a cure.”

Clinical trials are a critical step in bringing new treatments to the patients who need them, yet 85 percent are delayed and 30 percent never get off the ground due to a lack of participation, stalling the progress of potential therapies. Though 60 percent of people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) say they are willing to participate in a clinical trial, fewer than 10 percent ever do.

In 2012, MJFF launched Fox Trial Finder, an online platform that connects volunteers with and without PD to clinical trials in their area—increasing the efficiency of the enrollment process and empowering patients to get more involved in the discovery of new therapies.

At the New York City Clinical Trials Fair, MJFF CEO Todd Sherer, PhD, will discuss the critical role that patients and their loved ones play in accelerating new therapies by participating in clinical research. Representatives from leading research centers in the surrounding area will also be present to provide information on more than 40 clinical trials recruiting locally. MJFF staff members and local Fox Trial Finder volunteers will be on site to answer questions about the Fox Trial Finder tool.

“We hope attendees will gain further knowledge about what it means to be a research trial participant and feel empowered to put that knowledge into action. Anyone who attends will have the opportunity to be able to connect with a trial that day or register on Fox Trial Finder to volunteer for other or future trial opportunities,” said Claire Meunier, director of clinical trial strategies of MJFF.

The New York City Clinical Trials Fair will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Grand Hyatt Hotel located at 109 East 42 Street. The event is open to the public and includes free parking and refreshments. For more information, please visit The first MJFF Clinical Trials Fair kicked-off in Chicago last month and several more around the country are planned for the remainder of 2013 and into 2014.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation exists for one reason: to find the cure for Parkinson’s disease in our lifetime. Parkinson’s is the second most common brain disease, estimated to affect one in 100 individuals over age 60. Founded by Michael J. Fox in 2000, the Foundation has quickly grown to become the largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s research globally, with over $350 million in research funded to date, and has been called “the most credible voice on Parkinson’s research in the world” by The New York Times. As Michael returns to network television full-time after more than two decades living with Parkinson’s disease, the Foundation has launched think/able, a project celebrating the power of optimism and determination to overcome challenges and achieve our biggest goals.

Source: PR Newswire

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