Saturday, May 10, 2014

United Way of Greater Houston
50 Waugh Drive
Houston, Texas 77007

Presented by

Houston Area Parkinson Society

Sponsored by

TEVA, CNS, US World Meds, Medtronic, Home Instead Senior Care, Balance & Neuro Physical Therapy Center, TIRR Memorial Hermann, and Healthsouth


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Terry Ellis, P.T., Ph.D., N.C.S.

Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy & Athletic Training
Director, Center for Neurorehabilitation
Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences
Boston University

Joseph Jankovic, M.D.

Professor of Neurology
Distinguished Chair in Movement Disorders
Director, Parkinson's Disease Center and
Movement Disorders Clinic
Baylor College of Medicine

Joohi Jimenez-Shahed, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Neurology
Associate, Parkinson's Disease Center and
Movement Disorders Clinic
Baylor College of Medicine

Katie Kopil, Ph.D.

Associate Director, Research Programs
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research

Laura Marsh, M.D.

Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Baylor College of Medicine

Information about the Symposium


Houston Area Parkinson Society invites you to attend the 2014 Annual Educational Symposium, Innovations in Parkinson's Disease: Past, Present and Future, and to join us in celebrating HAPS' 40 years of service to the Parkinson's community.

Each year, HAPS hosts a full-day educational event for individuals living with Parkinson's disease, their caregivers, family members, friends and the general public. This May, HAPS will once again bring the community together to provide the most up-to-date information about the disease, presented by local and national experts in the field.

Much has changed in the nearly 200 years since Parkinson's disease was first identified. This year's symposium will look back at major milestones in Parkinson's history, how our understanding and management of the disease has evolved over time, and what the future may hold in terms of defining the disease, better treatment, improved therapies and, ultimately, a cure.


Parkinson's Disease: Past, Present and Future — Since the 1817 publication of the Essay on the Shaking Palsy by James Parkinson and the clear description of the disease that now bears his name, there have been major advances in the understanding and treatment of this neurodegenerative disease. Arvid Carlsson's revelation in 1958 that levodopa reverses parkinsonism in an animal model; Alim Benabid's 1987 discovery that high frequency stimulation of the thalamus suppresses tremor leading to the development of deep brain stimulation; and the identification of the first gene responsible for PD in 1997 are among the many breakthroughs that will be highlighted in the presentation along with brief answers to the most frequently asked questions by patients with the disease and by PD researchers.

Exercise as Medicine: What Are We Waiting For? — Research in Parkinson's disease suggests that exercise is effective in improving walking, balance, motor symptoms and strength resulting in reduced disability and enhanced quality of life. Studies in animal models suggest that high intensity exercise may have disease modifying effects. Given the growing body of literature in Parkinson's disease demonstrating the benefits of exercise and the limited adverse events, exercise should be recommended as part of the standard care of individuals with Parkinson's disease. This presentation will review the evidence on exercise in Parkinson's disease and suggest new models of care to help persons with Parkinson's disease exercise successfully over the course of the disease.

Innovation and Evolution of PD Therapies: A New Awakening — This presentation will review past therapeutic highlights in the context of scientific discoveries about disease mechanisms. Though levodopa remains the "gold standard" of medication therapy, the 1990s saw the emergence of the concept of continuous dopamine stimulation to minimize complications of levodopa as well as the availability of new medicines such as dopamine agonists and COMT/MAO inhibitors. Surgical intervention for PD, first explored in the 1950s, was nearly abandoned as advances in medical management strategies were made. However, recognition of the limitations of these medicines have led to the widespread acceptance of deep brain stimulation for the management of advanced disease at present time. The most recent innovations, including medications to address non-motor symptoms, treatments targeting non-dopamine mechanisms, strategies to attain neuroprotection, surgical procedures and cell-based therapies will also be discussed.

Mental Health and the Future of Parkinson's Disease — Changes in mood, emotions, behavior and thinking are prominent features of PD and can be more disabling than its motor symptoms--even James Parkinson referred to psychiatric changes in his original descriptions of the disease! However, mental disturbances are often unrecognized or receive less attention since the motor dysfunction is typically the focus of treatment. Over the years, the impact and extent of PD-related psychiatric disturbances has been increasingly appreciated and effective treatments have been established. This session will review common mental health issues associated with PD and how to recognize and treat them. Practical approaches for maintaining mental health in the context of living with the disease will be described. Finally, the role of psychiatric disturbances as pre-motor features, and also over the course of PD, will be discussed as they relate to future research and approaches to clinical care.

How Do We Get to Cures: A Research Update from The Michael J. Fox Foundation — Since 2000, The Michael J. Fox Foundation has been dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson's through an aggressively funded research agenda. This session will provide an overview of MJFF's approach to science and the mission to prioritize research that explores specific therapeutic approaches and develops tools and resources that could contribute to or help accelerate improved Parkinson's disease treatments. Highlights of the latest developments in Parkinson's disease research and an in-depth look at key areas in science, including defining biomarkers and how they complement the therapeutic strategy with respect to measuring alpha-synuclein, will be discussed.

Fee Information

There is no fee for this educational activity.

Symposium Schedule

8:30 a.m.












12:35 p.m.









Check-in and Continental Breakfast




Parkinson's Disease: Past, Present and Future

Joseph Jankovic, M.D.

Exercise as Medicine: What Are We Waiting For?

Terry Ellis, P.T., Ph.D., N.C.S.



Innovation and Evolution of PD Therapies: A New Awakening

Joohi Jimenez-Shahed, M.D.



Mental Health and the Future of Parkinson's Disease

Laura Marsh, M.D.



How Do We Get to Cures: A Research Update from The Michael J. Fox Foundation

Katie Kopil, Ph.D.

Closing Remarks


By Phone:

Monday, May 5