For the first time, this year's meeting for people with Parkinson's, was held online and focussed on the origins and development of Parkinson’s, including triggers, early symptoms and stages of the disease.

From 24 -25 September, The Cure Parkinson's Trust (CPT) and the Van Andel Institute (VAI) were thrilled to once again host Rallying to the Challenge, a meeting designed for and by people with Parkinson’s, advocates and care partners that explores how the Parkinson’s community can impact and accelerate research. The meeting ran in parallel with VAI's flagship annual Parkinson’s disease symposium Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease. 

The theme for 2020 was 'When and How Does Parkinson's Begin?' If you were unable to attend the meeting, all the presentations from Rallying are available to view now below and recordings of the live sessions and Q&As are coming soon.

Playlist – DAY 1 

Playlist – DAY 2 

The meeting included stimulating discussions such as ‘What are the genetic risk factors for Parkinson’s?’ with advocate Ben Strecher and Dr Ziv Gan-Or, ‘Viruses and Parkinson’s’ with Dr David Beckham (Assoc. Professor University of Colorado) and Chris Maycock, ‘What role might the gut play in Parkinson’s?’ with Dietician Richelle Flanagan and Per Borghammer (Assoc. Professor, Aarhus University Hospital) and expert insights from Professor Tom Foltynie and Dr Dilan Athauda during their discussion on ‘Does insulin resistance/type 2 Diabetes make a difference?’

As always, one of the highlights of Rallying is the presentation of the Tom Isaacs Award. The award recognises a researcher who has shown great impact on the lives of people living with Parkinson’s and has involved people with Parkinson’s in a participatory way in their work. CPT and VAI are delighted to announce that this year’s recipient is Professor Caroline Tanner. You can read more about Professor Tanner and her work with people with Parkinson’s here.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to and joined us for this virtual meeting. Each year, patient experiences inform the Rallying to the Challenge meeting, they are a key component of the discussions and we'd like to hear from you with your feedback! Keep up to date with the latest discussions and join in the conversation with advocates & PWP’s by joining our Facebook ‘Rallying to the Challenge’ group.

There has been a huge amount of work behind the scenes to ensure that this year’s virtual format meeting ran smoothly. Production of the presentations for the event took place in the weeks leading up to Rallying to the Challenge and we would like to thank CPT advocate Eros Bresolin for all his work in masterminding and producing the technical materials for this virtual meeting.

Further information:

Our quarterly webinars in association with the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease and chaired by Professor Patrik Brundin (VAI) discuss important topics and related research within the Parkinson's community. You can watch our webinar on the subject of Prodromal Parkinson’s here.