For the first time, Van Andel Institute’s (VAI) flagship annual Parkinson’s disease symposium Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease and its parallel meeting Rallying to the Challenge for people with Parkinson’s, hosted in partnership with The Cure Parkinson’s Trust (CPT), will be held virtually and can be attended online free of charge.

Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease brings together hundreds of scientists, clinicians and people with Parkinson’s to explore the latest Parkinson’s disease research. The theme for 2020 is 'When and How Does Parkinson’s Start?' - featuring scientific talks by 16 invited speakers, a research poster session and advocacy discussions - will focus on the origins and development of Parkinson’s, including potential triggers, the early symptoms and stages of the disease, and how findings may be translated into new diagnostic methods, such as biomarkers.

CPT and VAI are 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.

Rallying to the Challenge will take place on 24 and 25 September. Both events are free this year, and, like previous in-person meetings, participants will be able to 'virtually' attend both scientific- and advocate-focused meetings.

We have already begun production of our presentations for this year's Rallying to the Challenge meeting. There will be stimulating discussions about the role of the gut and Parkinson's led by Richelle Flanagan (Dietician), Viviane Labrie (Assoc. Professor, Van Andel Institute) and Per Borghammer (Assoc. Professor, Aarhus University Hospital) with expert insights from Prof. Tom Foltynie and Dr. Dilan Athauda about the growing interest in Parkinson's and insulin resistance and diabetes.  

Register your place to join both this year’s ‘virtual’ Grand Challenges in Parkinson's Disease and its parallel meeting Rallying to the Challenge here.

Each year, patient experiences inform the Rallying to the Challenge meeting and these are a key component of the discussions and we'd like to hear from you! We are investigating how and when Parkinson's begins - please help us by sharing your experiences. The survey is now open and we would be grateful if you would take part - Rallying2020 - survey.