NEW YORK, Dec. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research closes 2009 with $2.1 million in awards to high-risk, high-reward approaches to Parkinson's therapeutic development through its Rapid Response Innovation Awards. Over the course of the year, the funds were awarded to 28 research teams working on a broad
Rapid Response, one of the Foundation's Edmond J. Safra Core Programs for PD Research, commits up to $2 million annually to support research with little to no existing preliminary data, but with potential to crack open entirely new ways of understanding or treating Parkinson's disease. The program reflects the Foundation's commitment to funding truly novel ideas in real time by accepting researchers' proposals on a rolling basis throughout the year.
Highlights of the 2009 program include:
A number of Rapid Response projects from prior years received additional funding in 2009 to support the next stage of research. Under a 2008 Rapid Response award, J. William Langston, MD, of the Parkinson's Institute in Sunnyvale, California, demonstrated that patients with pure REM behavioral disorder, a group with an increased risk of developing PD, show significant changes in heart rate variability as measured with an electrocardiogram. With supplemental funding from MJFF, Dr. Langston is now following up with patients from his study to see which of them has developed PD in order to determine whether the electrocardiogram can be used as an early marker of Parkinson's.
The Foundation has funded over $6.7 million in awards through Rapid Response since the program was first launched in 2007. Grant abstracts and researcher bios are available for every MJFF award in the Searchable Database of Funded Grants on the Foundation's Web site, www.michaeljfox.org.
About The Michael J. Fox Foundation
The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to ensuring the development of better treatments, and ultimately a cure, for Parkinson's disease through an aggressively funded research agenda. MJFF has funded more than $162 million in research to date.
SOURCE Michael J. Fox Foundation
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