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May 15

2012 Annual Parkinson’s Disease Conference Overview

John KrumbholzThe 2012 Annual Parkinson Disease Conference, “Take Control: Moving Forward with Knowledge and Wellness” took place on Friday, June 15, 2012 at the Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, Iowa. It was a full day conference with 20 speakers presenting on a wide-variety of topics.

The focus this year, and every year, is to always offer new and empowering information to help those impacted by Parkinson’s disease, including family members and health professionals.

Keynote Presenters

  • Dr. Emily DrabantJohn Krumbholz, Iowa Chapter Co-President, welcomed the attendees with inspiring opening remarks, challenging Iowans to be advocates for Parkinson’s awareness.
  • Dr. Emily Drabant, Research Development Manager from 23andMe, presented information on how their
    company is involved with Parkinson’s research and what genetics has revealed about Parkinson’s onset. Throughout the day, Dr. Drabant signed up individuals for 23andMe’s Parkinson’s Research study. See our Resources page for more information on the Parkinson’s Research study by 23andme. Hear Dr. Drabant’s talk at the conference and follow along with her presentation.
  • Dr. Gary LeoDr. Gary Leo, neurologist and sleep disorders specialist from Milwaukee, addressed the topic of sleep – different “types” of sleep, why it is important for people with Parkinson’s and their partners and how to get a decent night’s rest. Hear Dr. Leo talk at the conference and follow along with his presentation.
  • Dr. Lynn Struck, Iowa Health neurologist and Medical Director of the Iowa Parkinson Disease Information and Referral Center, presented an overview of current treatments and medication and recent advances in treatment. Her expertise and knowledge is always well received, and attendees are always eager to learn more about what is being done to manage the disease currently, and what is on the horizon. Hear Dr. Struck talk at the conference and follow along with her presentation.



Dr. Lynn StruckIn both breakout sessions, several topics were presented – including caregiving, assistive technology, physical
therapy, deep-brain stimulation, nutrition, dementia, Medicaid eligibility, tai chi, depression, non-motor symptoms, incontinence, music therapy, dance and an overview of Parkinson’s for those newly diagnosed. Please see the agenda or conference program for a list of presenters.

Many thanks to attendees, speakers, exhibitors, vendors and volunteers for making this conference a success. A special thanks to Medtronic and UCB Pharmaceuticals for sponsorship. Special thanks also goes to Atlantic Bottling company, Crystal Clear and Meta Bank for in-kind donations.