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April 26, 2007

PARKINSON’S SUPPORT GROUP GIFT BOOSTS MOVEMENT DISORDER PROGRAM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. The University of Louisville’s Movement Disorder Program has received a gift totaling $650,000 that will accelerate its research on Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, diseases which affect more than 12,000 Kentuckians.

The gift from the Parkinson Support Center of Kentuckiana (PSCK) kicks off the public phase of their first major fundraising campaign, providing $500,000, which will be matched by Kentucky’s research challenge trust fund, to establish an endowed research fund to provide ongoing support for Parkinson’s disease research at the University of Louisville. An additional $150,000 from PSCK will be used to hire and train doctors in the advanced diagnosis and treatment of movement disorders and add an additional specialized nurse-practitioner.

PSCK officials also announced that they have met their initial campaign goal of $1.25 million in just six months and are increasing their goal to $1.75 million -$2 million.

“Generating more than 115 donors and two six-figure gifts in just six months have provided the energy and momentum for us to exceed our first fundraising objective of $1,250,000,” said PSCK President John Swarts.

“The support from this organization and their donors inspires our team,” said UofL President James Ramsey.

“We are committed to finding new ways to treat Parkinson’s and this gift will help us get new research to patients more quickly. The fellowship funds are extremely important, as there is a severe shortage of movement disorders specialists here in Kentuckiana and across the nation. Our ability to hire and train more fellows will help address this shortage,” said movement disorder program director Irene Litvan.

“The long-term consequences of the disease are almost indescribable. That’s one reason I agreed to support this grassroots effort with my time and a contribution,” said campaign co-chair Barbara Nichols.

“We encourage everyone to call and make a pledge. Your gift could be a lifesaving difference to a friend, neighbor or leave a legacy for a loved one,” said Swarts.

Litvan, who is the Raymond Lee Lebby Endowed Professor of Parkinson’s Disease Research, received a major National Institutes of Health grant last year to lead a national study of a rare Parkinson-related disorder called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.

For more information on the Parkinson’s Support Center of Kentuckiana, go to http://www.pscky.org or call 502-426-0888.

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