Graduate Student Scholarship $50,000

Thea Knowles – Western University

The majority of individuals with Parkinson disease will develop speech impairments at some point during the course of the disease.  In this study I will compare the use of three communication different devices thought to bring benefit to people with Hypophonia (an overall reduction in loudness that typically makes speech hard to understand).  It is anticipated that the results from the study will provide important new information about patient preferences and the relative effectiveness of these devices.

Olivia Samotus – Western 

The goal of this project is to investigate the therapeutic effect of Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) on gait including freezing of gait. We will assess changes in mobility using a gait carpet and a full-body motion capture suit, in order to measure body locomotion during simple walking tasks before SCS surgery and up to one year after SCS surgery.

Andrew Vo – Western 

Cognitive impairment is an undisputed, non-motor feature of Parkinson’s Disease.  Improved management of the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease is a high priority.  Yet it remains a grossly unmet goal because of our poor current understanding of their pathophysiology.  As Parkinson’s disease progresses, sources of dopamine further deteriorate and initially spared functions decline. The effects of medication on these impairments are not clear.  The proposed research is to validate the brain regions underlying emerging cognitive deficits in PD and to clarify the effects of dopaminergic therapy on these. This will translate into better-informed treatment strategies towards improved symptom management.

Wilfrid Laurier University – MDRC – $25,000

Funding to be used to continue the work of the Movement Disorders Research & Rehabilitation Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University in support of those living with Parkinson’s.

University of Windsor – Dr. Pandey – $12,000

Funds made in support of Place of Promise: The Campaign for the University of Windsor and will be designated for The Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario Research Fund for salaries to support two undergraduate researchers.