Pennington Biomedical to Host Parkinson's Disease Conference

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Experts will gather July 19, 2014 to discuss current status and future of research on the disease
Released: Tuesday, June 03, 2014

BATON ROUGE, LA - As many as one million Americans live with Parkinson's disease - approximately 60,000 more are diagnosed each year.  In Louisiana, Parkinson's affects more than 65,000 individuals - one of the higher incidence rates in the nation.

According to the American Journal of Managed Care, the annual economic impact of Parkinson's disease in the United States is roughly $10.8 billion, including both direct medical expenses and indirect costs such as lost income, disability payments and medical costs. 

To underscore the importance of translating research on Parkinson's disease into improved treatments and an eventual cure, Pennington Biomedical will host the 3rd annual Parkinson's Conference on Saturday, July 19, 2014. 

"We are excited to host our third annual conference on a health topic so important to Louisiana. The large and interactive audiences at our first two meetings were a testament to that importance," said Dr. Donald Ingram, one of the event organizers and the lead researcher in the Nutritional Neuroscience and Aging Laboratory at Pennington Biomedical. "Once again we've assembled an outstanding program with experts on topics from the basic mechanisms of the disease and treatment strategies, to family and societal impacts - and we've allowed ample time for audience questions and discussion."

The conference will also feature several exhibitors offering information pertinent to patients with Parkinson's disease and their families.

Registrants are encouraged to sign up in advance of the event.  The conference can accommodate only 400 attendees.  Online registration will close once capacity attendance has been reached and/or on July 14, 2014.  Walk-in registrations on the day of the event cannot be accepted. 

The conference will be held at Pennington Biomedical Research Center located at 6400 Perkins Road in Baton Rouge in the C.B. Pennington Jr. Building.  For more information please visit

Conference Agenda:

9:00 - 9:30

Doors Open and Exhibits - Pre-registration Required

9:30 - 9:45

Program begins. Introductions and Welcome - Main Auditorium
Donald Ingram PhD, Professor, Pennington Biomedical Research Center
Gerald Calegan MD, Neurologist, NeuroMedical Center, Baton Rouge

9:45 - 10:15

Basic Mechanisms of Parkinson's Disease
Ariel Deutch PhD, James G. Blakemore Chair and Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; Director, National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence, Vanderbilt University

10:15 - 10:30


10:30 - 11:00

Parkinson's Medications: An Update
Rebecca Whiddon MD, Neurologist, NeuroMedical Center, Baton Rouge

11:00 - 11:30

Mya Schiess MD, Neurologist, University of Texas Health Science Center of Houston Medical School

11:30 - 12:00

Lunch - boxed lunch provided for all PRE-REGISTERED guests

12:00 - 12:30

RESEARCH UPDATE and Opportunities to get involved
Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
Claire Meunier, Director, Clinical Trial Recruitment Strategies

12:30 - 2:30

Panel Discussion/Q & A Time


The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the triggers of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. It is a campus of Louisiana State University and conducts basic, clinical and population research. The research enterprise at Pennington Biomedical includes approximately 80 faculty and more than 25 post-doctoral fellows who comprise a network of 44 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dietitians, and support personnel, and 13 highly specialized core service facilities. Pennington Biomedical's more than 500 employees perform research activities in state-of-the-art facilities on the 222-acre campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.