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Canadian Open Parkinson Network funding begins collaboration platform to accelerate Parkinson’s disease research and knowledge

News | November 27, 2018 |

TORONTO, Nov. 27, 2018 /CNW/ - Parkinson Canada together with Brain Canada are pleased to announce the creation of the Canadian Open Parkinson Network (C-OPN). The $2 million Platform Grant is intended to support the initial development and maintenance of a large-scale research network that is built on the foundation of the established and successful Quebec Parkinson Network (QPN), and involve multiple provinces, in the field of Parkinson's disease and related disorders. Brain Canada receives financial support from Health Canada through the Canada Brain Research Fund.

"Brain Canada is pleased to be a partner with Parkinson Canada on the Canadian Open Parkinson Network. This program follows the establishment of the Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform, a national effort we initiated to link data across the country, and standardize how we collect, store and analyze this data. The Parkinson registry and database will create the first national platform to capture data from those living with Parkinson's, and make the data accessible to a wider number of researchers. The goal is to accelerate our already excellent Parkinson's research in Canada, resulting in better patient outcomes," ‎says Inez Jabalpurwala, President and CEO of Brain Canada.

Parkinson's disease affects over 100,000 Canadians, a number expected to increase substantially in the coming years. Through the important work performed and shared by researchers, the C-OPN will build capacity and increase awareness among all levels of government, healthcare professionals, the research community, health charities and the general public.

Dr. Oury Monchi, PhD, has been appointed as Principal Investigator and Director of the C-OPN, which is a collaboration of the brightest minds in Parkinson's research in Canada today. Dr. Monchi holds the Tourmaline Oil Chair in Parkinson's disease, and is the Clinical Research Director at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, where he is also a professor in the Departments of Clinical Neurosciences and Radiology, Leader of the Movement Disorders Neuroteam and CaPRI, and Clinical Research Director at the Department of Clinical Neurosciences.

"The Canadian Open Parkinson Network is a major initiative that will keep Canada at the leading edge of Parkinson's disease research. By building a strong, interconnected and collaborative network of researchers, physicians and people living with Parkinson's, we can work strategically to accelerate advancements in Parkinson's research and treatment," states Dr. Monchi.

The Canadian Open Parkinson Network will include:

  • a patient registry with comprehensive clinical information
  • a database with information from diagnostics (imaging tests, MRI, PET scans), anatomical (neuroimaging, sleep, behavioural and neuropsychological information) and functional measurements
  • a biobank with patient biomaterials such as blood samples and DNA for genetic studies.

"Establishing the Canadian Open Parkinson Network is a top strategic priority for Parkinson Canada and I am inspired to see it take shape. Since 1965, Parkinson Canada has stood alongside Canadians with Parkinson's and the health professionals who treat them. We are at the forefront of dialogue with government and policy makers to be a clear voice for people with Parkinson's," says Joyce Gordon, CEO, Parkinson Canada. "With more than 25 people diagnosed each day, we are reminded why establishing the Canadian Open Parkinson Network is critical now. It brings hope for a cure, and accelerated treatments over the next ten years and beyond, and it involves the very people whom researchers are trying to help."

About Brain Canada and the Canada Brain Research Fund

Brain Canada is a national registered charity that enables and supports excellent, innovative, paradigm-changing brain research in Canada. Since 1998, Brain Canada has made the case for the brain as a single, complex system with commonalities across the range of neurological disorders, mental illnesses and addictions, brain and spinal cord injuries. Looking at the brain as one system has underscored the need for increased collaboration across disciplines and institutions, and a smarter way to invest in brain research that is focused on outcomes that will benefit patients and families. Brain Canada's vision is to understand the brain, in health and illness, to improve lives and achieve societal impact.

The Canada Brain Research Fund is a public-private partnership between the Government of Canada and Brain Canada, designed to encourage Canadians to increase their support of brain research, and maximize the impact and efficiency of those investments. Brain Canada has committed $115 million from private donors and non-federal partners—now numbering more than 100—which Health Canada has matched with $120 million. For more information, please visit www.braincanada.ca.

About Parkinson Canada

Parkinson Canada is the definitive voice of Canadians living with Parkinson's disease. From diagnosis to discovery, Parkinson Canada provides education and services to support people with Parkinson's, their families, and healthcare teams; online, by telephone and in person. Parkinson Canada advocates with federal, provincial and territorial governments on issues that matter to the Parkinson's community in Canada.

The Parkinson Canada Research Program funds research to improve our understanding of Parkinson's disease, related disorders, the impact these disorders have on society, and one day, to find a cure. Since 1981, Parkinson Canada has invested close to $29 million in 552 research projects across Canada. Parkinson Canada is an Imagine Canada accredited organization. Visit online at www.parkinson.ca

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is a global intellectual hub located in Canada's most enterprising city. In our spirited, high-quality learning environment, students thrive in programs made rich by research, hands-on experiences and entrepreneurial thinking. Our strategy drives us to be recognized as one of Canada's top five research universities, engaging the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as "I will lift up my eyes." For more information, visit ucalgary.ca/eyeshigh.

For more information, visit ucalgary.ca. Stay up to date with University of Calgary news headlines on Twitter @UCalgary. For details on faculties and how to reach experts go to our media centre at ucalgary.ca/mediacentre.

Led by the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Brain and Mental Health is one of six strategic research themes guiding the university towards its Eyes High goals.

About the Hotchkiss Brain Institute

The Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) at the University of Calgary consists of more than 150 scientists and clinician scientists who are dedicated to advancing brain and mental health research and education. The Institute's research strengths, in Brain & Behaviour, Neural Injury & Repair and Healthy Brain Aging, are leading to a better understanding of the brain and nervous system and new treatments for neurological and mental health disorders, aimed at improving quality of life and patient care. More information about the HBI can be found at hbi.ucalgary.ca.

About the Cumming School of Medicine

The University of Calgary's Cumming School of Medicine is a leader in health research, with an international reputation for excellence and innovation in health care research and education.

On June 17, 2014, the University Of Calgary Faculty Of Medicine was formally named the Cumming School of Medicine in recognition of Geoffrey Cumming's generous gift to the university.

For more information, visit cumming.ucalgary.ca/ or follow us on Twitter @UCalgaryMed.

For further information: Brain Canada Foundation, Theodora Samiotis, 514-989-2989 ext. 110; Parkinson Canada, Anne Marie Gabriel, CAE, 1-800-565-3000 ext. 3396, (416) 227-3396, annemarie.gabriel@parkinson.ca; Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Kelly Johnston, 403-220-5012, Kelly.johnston2@ucalgary.ca