North East academics raise Parkinson's issues with Prime Minister's wife

University academics have been invited to speak to Samantha Cameron, wife of the Prime Minister, about Parkinson's disease

Professer David Burn, director of the Newcastle University's Institute for Ageing and Health
Professer David Burn, director of the Newcastle University's Institute for Ageing and Health

Two academics from the North have been invited to 10 Downing Street to speak to the Prime Minister’s wife, Samantha Cameron, about Parkinson’s disease.

Professors David Burn and Lynn Rochester attended a reception hosted by Parkinson’s UK, at which the future of research and treatment of the diseases was outlined.

Prof Burn gave a short speech to highlight Parkinson UK’s vision to create a national Parkinson’s Excellence Network to improve service delivery for people with Parkinson’s.

Among the issues that Professor Burn raised were the fact that too many people face Parkinson’s without the all-round expert treatment and care they need, despite the difference the right services can make to those with the disease.

Professor Burn said: “We want to bring together the passion and expertise of the professional community, the voice of people affected by Parkinson’s and the leadership and resources of Parkinson’s UK, to drive life-changing improvements in services.

“We want every one delivering Parkinson’s care to be part of this network, with full access to the professional development, evidence, peer support and service improvement tools that can drive up quality across the UK.

“And to deliver hope for the future, we want to strengthen services as a research environment, with better access to clinical trials and use of data to speed up progress to better treatments and a cure.”

Parkinson’s research at Newcastle University is also supported by the National Institute for Health Research though its Biomedical Research Unit which aims to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of this condition.

Last month the university unveiled research it is doing to investigate how Google Glass could be used as an aid to help people with Parkinson’s retain their independence for longer.

A team in the university’s Digital Interaction Group in Culture Lab, part of the School of Computing Science, have been working with a group of Parkinson’s volunteers to see how Google Glass could provide discreet prompts to behaviours that Parkinson’s affects.

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