“I joined to learn what is happening to find a cure”

In this series, we hear from some of our Research Support Network members about why they joined, and what they have been up to. This is Dave’s story.

“In 2010, at the age of 43, my son was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He’d had symptoms for the previous five years.

“I didn’t know much about Parkinson’s back then, but I felt devastated. I started to look for information — I read books, searched online and spoke to anyone I could.

“The most surprising thought that hit me was that nothing much had advanced in finding a cure for Parkinson’s over the 200 years since James Parkinson published his first essay in 1817. Levodopa, the main medication, was developed in the early 1970s and has limited effects long term, with lots of side effects once maximum dosage is reached.

“My son became a member of the Research Support Network after taking part in many research studies, including the TRANSEURO program at Cambridge. I also joined the charity to find out everything they were doing.

“I was particularly enthusiastic when the Sheffield Institute of Translational Neuroscience opened in 2010. I have since attended many research talks and open days at the institute and I started attending the Parkinson’s UK Yorkshire and the Humber Research Interest Group meetings that are also hosted there.

“Today, I am feeling more optimistic — the latest projects and trials seem to be moving towards finding a treatment that can slow down Parkinson’s.

“Being part of the Parkinson’s UK Research Support Network is a great way to keep up to date with what is happening in the research world. It also gives me the opportunity to hear from other people in a similar position and exchange views on finding a cure. I feel most people would benefit from joining Parkinson’s UK and the Research Support Network.

“I always spread the news about Parkinson’s and now, at long last, there is light at the end of our 200 year battle to find a cure. Watch this space!”