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UofL program is first Parkinson center of excellence in Kentucky

August 24th, 2007

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Irene Litvan

The University of Louisville’s Movement Disorders Program has received designation as a National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence, UofL and Frazier Rehab Institute announced Aug. 24. This is the first and only such designation in Kentucky.

The Movement Disorders Program, part of the UofL Department of Neurology, has its clinical practice at the Frazier Rehab and Neuroscience Center. Program director Irene Litvan is the Raymond Lee Lebby Professor of Parkinson Disease Research at UofL.

“This is another great example of faculty who, after being recruited to Louisville with the help of Bucks for Brains, build programs that not only bring prestige to the university, but also make a difference in the lives of patients and families who are dealing with this terrible disease,” said UofL President James Ramsey.

An estimated 4,000 people in the Louisville Metro area have Parkinson disease and more than 42,000 suffer from movement disorders, Litvan said. That number likely will rise as the number of people over the age of 65, a prime age for Parkinson disease, continues to increase.

Physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychological, speech therapy and social services are among the services the Movement Disorders Program provides.

“We strive for excellence in all that we do and are thrilled to receive the National Parkinson Foundation’s highest designation for comprehensive patient care, research and outreach,” Litvan said.

Center of Excellence is the highest designation the National Parkinson Foundation awards. Centers are expected to engage in and facilitate research, provide comprehensive care for patients with Parkinson disease and provide a program of community outreach. They are conceptualized as places to which people with Parkinson disease, caregivers and families, health care providers and others in the community can turn for the most up-to-date research, specialized services, support, information and referral services for the disease.

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