Cafe Scientifique (2009)

Women in Science: Shaking up Parkinson’s Disease Research
March 20, 2009

EVENT SUMMARY: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition of the motor system which affects over 100,000 Canadians and 6.3 million people worldwide.  The most common symptoms associated with PD are tremors, slowness and stiffness of movements, impaired balance, and rigidity of muscles.  Even though the pathology and symptoms of PD have been widely investigated, the factors involved in the cause of this disease are not well understood.  Scientists theorize that PD is a result of a genetic predisposition to the disease and exposure to environmental factors. However, there is no conclusive evidence as to how the combination of these two factors results in PD.  

The goal of this event was to provide a means for researchers from the University of Lethbridge and the University Calgary to cooperatively educate the public in an area that is extremely important to the health of Canadians.  It also provided an opportunity to feature women in science from diverse backgrounds who are performing critical Parkinson’s disease research. 

Sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the University of Lethbridge, Cafe Scientifiques provide insight into health-related issues of interest to the general public in a casual atmosphere. A key feature is the interaction and discussion amongst the public and the researchers.