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Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney

Stalwart Advocate for Parkinson’s Research

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), a board member of the Michael Stern Parkinson’s Research Foundation, is a shining example of the difference that one dedicated person can make in the battle to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Congresswoman Maloney’s father suffered with Parkinson’s for many years, so she knows first-hand the devastation that the disease can wreak on individuals and their families. Through her position in Congress, she has worked tirelessly to increase government funding for Parkinson’s research, and has been instrumental in the Stern Foundation’s ability to raise private funds to continue the groundbreaking research of Paul Greengard and his team of scientists.

In 1999, in conjunction with Representatives Fred Upton (R-MI), Lane Evans (D-IL), Joe Skeen (R-NM), Mark Udall (D-CO), Tom Udall (D-NM) and Henry Waxman (D-CA), Congresswoman Maloney founded the Congressional Working Group on Parkinson’s Disease. This bipartisan group works to increase awareness among members of Congress on issues related to Parkinson’s, including improving the state of Parkinson’s-related research. The Working Group’s mission is to ensure that the needs of those with the disease are considered in congressional decision-making and to meet together to pursue this common goal through public debate and legislation.

One of the central focuses of the Working Group is to ensure that the National Institutes of Health fully implements the Parkinson’s Disease Research Agenda, a five-year plan developed in 1999 at the direction of Congress. The Research Agenda has as its primary goals improving understanding of Parkinson’s disease, developing new treatments,

increasing NIH’s research investment through innovative funding mechanisms and public-private partnerships, and enhancing the research process by addressing ethical and social issues presented by clinical trials and emerging therapies.

“Leading scientists have described Parkinson’s as the most curable neurological disorder, and recent advances in Parkinson’s research have given us great hope that a cure is imminent,” says Congresswoman Maloney. “The science regarding Parkinson’s has advanced to a stage where greater management and coordination of the federally funded research effort will accelerate the pace of scientific progress dramatically. We must remain vigilant and keep the pressure on the NIH to stay true to the Parkinson┼ís Research Agenda.”

At the same time, the Congresswoman continues, “Federally funded research alone cannot fill the gaps that must be filled if we are to cure this disease quickly. Private contributions to support promising research, such as that being pursued by Paul Greengard and his team of scientists, are critical.”

You can learn more about the Congressional Working Group on Parkinson’s Disease by visiting Congresswoman Maloney’s web site: www.house.gov/maloney. If your Congressional Representative is not a member of the Working Group, please call or write to them and ask them to become one, and to support increased federal funding for Parkinson’s research.