Today marks World Parkinson’s Disease Day, established in 1997 by the European Parkinson’s Disease Association (EPDA) to raise awareness among institutions and the community about this unfortunately extremely widespread neurodegenerative disease: knowledge is essential for the dignity of the more than 8 million Parkinson’s patients worldwide. This pathology now affects around 400,000 people in Italy alone and diagnosis is still essentially clinical and based mainly on the symptoms presented by the patient.
Parkinson’s disease is a slow-moving but progressive neurological disorder, mainly involving certain functions such as control of movement and balance, which manifests itself on average around the age of 60 with a higher incidence in the male population. The symptoms of Parkinson’s have probably been known for several centuries, although the name and the choice of this date are linked to James Parkinson, the 19th century London pharmacist and surgeon who first described most of the symptoms of the disease in his writing: Treatment of Agitating Paralysis.
Why do we talk about commitment? BioRep is a member of several research networks and is currently involved in two projects funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF). One of the MJFF’s priorities is to direct and promote research on precise genetic targets in order to better understand the origin and progression of Parkinson’s disease. By supporting study projects on LRRK2 and alpha-synuclein, the foundation aims to find a cure as soon as possible that will benefit all patients and not only those carrying the mutations. BioRep in this context offers itself as a biorepository for both projects, organising and monitoring the shipment of sample collection kits throughout Europe. BioRep also takes care of the processing and distribution of the biological material and offers its storage platform guaranteeing the highest levels of quality and safety at every step. The MJFF Foundation is convinced that ‘years of work to uncover the secrets of Parkinson’s – defining the highly variable experience of patients, shedding light on the genetic origins of the disease, mapping molecular pathways – are now bearing fruit in a tangible acceleration of scientific progress’.
In addition to BioRep, the entire Sapio Group has long been involved in care and assistance, both with SapioLife in the home care of patients through highly qualified staff, and with Life Cure, committed since 2016 to improving the lives of hundreds of patients through the delivery of Patient Support Program (PSP) and Patient Adherence Program (PAP), on behalf of major pharmaceutical companies, throughout the country. In particular, in the last 12 months Life Cure has launched a new programme in collaboration with a pharmaceutical company to improve the lives of patients prescribed their advanced Parkinson’s therapy.
According to Michael J. Fox: “Parkinson’s patients are the experts on what they have. As patients we have a responsibility to share our experience: what works for us, what we respond to, how we can contribute to research…”. To learn more about the foundation’s initiatives visit The Michael J. Fox Foundation, and to learn more about the Sapio Group’s healthcare services click here.