The Black and African American Connections to Parkinson’s Disease (BLAAC PD) study announces an effort to expand their long-term research on Parkinson’s Disease. 

The study will now be taken up by two additional clinical site partners, Louisiana State University, and University of Florida, which now brings the study to a total of six site locations. This is according to The Micheal J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, who in the collaborative effort with the Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s initiative, and the Global Parkinson’s Genetics Program, seek to grow awareness of the genetic understanding of Parkinson’s disease. 

“The BLAAC PD study is an opportunity for Black and African American people to participate in the pursuit of cures for Parkinson’s — the fastest growing neurological disease — for themselves, their children and their community. We are proud to join as a clinical site and to contribute to a global initiative that is looking both for what makes a population unique and for what is shared,” said Ashley Rawls, MD, MS, clinical assistant professor at the University of Florida College of Medicine and BLAAC PD site principal investigator.

BLAAC PD launched in 2021, and the study site partners include Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic, Rush University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and University of Chicago. The study asks volunteers from the black, or African-American community to donate one-time blood or saliva samples for DNA testing. The sample is tested for data around the medical/family history of the participants, which aims to better understand the distinctive differences between ethnic heritages. 

The resulting data is then collected by Global Parkinson’s Genetics Program, who analyzes similarities between over 150 cohorts from more than 50 countries. De-identified data is later shared with the global research community to speed up the process of finding overlapping genetic traits related to Parkinson’s disease. The resulting findings could create therapeutic intervention as research identifies novel pathological pathways for Parkinson’s disease. 

“Genetic understanding unlocks a door that scientists walk through toward cures,” said MJFF Director of Clinical Operations Alyssa O’Grady. “We are grateful to the participants and clinical site partners building this study to learn more about Parkinson’s-linked genetic changes in Black and African American populations toward better treatments for all.”

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  1. My husband has Parkinson’s disease, he is about 63 years old it was diagnosed 2 years ago. It was getting more difficult to live for him, because of stiff muscles he couldn’t even move. Mirapex and levodopa medicines were given, but didn’t give much relief. He couldn’t eat food without choking. I thought this might be the last stage and the medications he was given did not help at all, so I started to do alot of research on Ayurveda treatments, I was introduced to Health Natural Centre and their Parkinson’s Ayurveda Protocol. He started on the Ayurveda Treatment last year, his symptoms gradually diminished including his vocal cord spasm, Muscle Weakness, Tremors and Difficulty with swallowing. Reach them at natural herbs centr e . co m , he is getting active again since starting this treatment, he is able to walk again ( down the street and back ) he has also resumed exercising to strengthen muscles!! God Bless all PD Caregivers. Stay Strong, take small moments throughout the day to thank yourself, to love your self, and pray to whatever faith, star, spiritual force you believe in and ask for strength. I can personally vouch for these remedy but you would probably need to decide what works best for you.

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