Graduate Student Scholarship Program – $50,000

Natalie Trachsel – University of Guelph

To date, there is no effective treatment capable of halting or reversing disease pathology. While many anatomical brain regions are affected in Parkinson’s Disease, dopamine producing neurons in the midbrain are most susceptible to degeneration. My research will focus on determining whether Parkinson’s Disease pathology can move from diseased cells into a healthy brain.  If successful, this study will yield a novel model for studying Parkinson’s Disease.

Kishoree Sangarapelli – Wilfrid Laurier

In my study I hope to first understand what causes walking difficulties then I hope to improve walking by improving cognition and sensory impairment using exercise! I hope to have at least 100 participants in my study and I will randomly place them in one of two exercise groups. The first group will aim to improve cognition using a high intensity exercise (PDSAFExTM+aerobic), and will consist of walking, stretching and elliptical training. The second exercise group (PD SAFExTM+lower limb matching) will aim to improve sensory impairments. Through the results of this study, I hope to improve the challenges with walking that those with Parkinson’s face on a daily basis.

Erind Alushaj – Western

Patients with rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD) provide a truly unique opportunity to study preclinical biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease. We will assess the brain structures that are primarily impacted by Parkinson’s disease to see if we can find similar changes in patients with RBD. Looking for these ‘Parkinsonian’ changes in patients with RBD would eventually lead to the discovery of preclinical biomarkers. This would ultimately have major implications for how we diagnose, treat, and manage Parkinson’s disease.

Wilfrid Laurier University – MDRC – Dr. Almeida – $25,027

Replacement of -80 Degree Freezer, Administration and Dissemination support for the Sparx III Trial.