Grants & Funding Archive

From its inception, Team Parkinson, under the guidance of The Parkinson Alliance, has partnered with the Parkinson’s Unity Walk as well as The Parkinson Alliance.  Therefore, a portion of Team Parkinson funds are distributed each year to the 7 major Parkinson's disease organizations that are recipients of the Parkinson’s Unity Walk funds with 100% of those dollars going to research.  In addition, a portion supports grants given by The Parkinson Alliance.  These organizations support research toward a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

Since 2000, Team Parkinson has supported pilot study grants at a variety of institutions. Researchers must have pilot data in preparation for applying for major funding, such as funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). For example, Dr. Allan Wu, from the University of California Los Angeles, received a pilot study grant from The Parkinson Alliance in 2010.  The title of his research is “Neuroimaging Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Effects in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease.” The funding from The Parkinson Alliance was a catalyst for multi-center involvement, now including 7 institutions across the America, and additional funding from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. It is crucial to fund promising pilot studies so that researchers can continue the important work of improving treatment approaches for Parkinson’s disease and of getting closer to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

Team Parkinson is also proud to be a Community Partner of Fox Trial Finder.

Please come back and check this page occasionally, as we will have updates about new research that we will be funding.

We thank you for your dedication and commitment to this cause.

Grants Archive

2014 Grants

Team Parkinson is partially funding the following:

Project Title:  Freezing of Gait Device

Principal Investigator:  Dr. Lily Laiho, Ph.D., Biomedical & General Engineering, California Polytechnic State University

Objective/Rationale:  Freezing of Gait (FOG) is one of the most insidious symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease (PD). While PD was identified almost 200 years ago, a majority of the research appears to be centered on research for drugs, slowing the progression of the disease, or dyskinesia (tremors) and very little on FOG. Current therapies used to aid with FOG include music therapy, metronomes to set a pace for walking, and visualizing a target. We are proposing to design a device that can incorporate multiple therapies into a single device that can be used with a cane or walker to aid with FOG.

Project Description/Methods/Design:
  The main goal of this project is to create a reliable and cost-effective device that can assist individuals with Parkinson’s Disease in decreasing instances of freezing when FOG occurs. This device would provide an option of visual and/or auditory cues to help decrease freezing.  A team of students and the PI will follow a structured design process to design, manufacture, and test this device. We will be working with a local PD support group through all phases of this study. We will create customer requirements and specifications for the final product to meet.  We will then generate conceptual designs and develop many potential solutions. Using a structured decision process, we will select our final design and create a detailed design of the device, including machine and assembly drawings. We will then manufacture a prototype, test it, and use the results to improve upon our design and create our final prototype.

Relevance to Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease: 
With over 1 million people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, assistive technology devices can be beneficial in overcoming some of the difficulties associated with the disease in everyday life, such as freezing of gait.  We are proposing to create a device that could help people living with PD overcome instances of freezing of gait.  This device could enable people to continue to walk when they experience a FOG event by incorporating several different compensatory strategies into a single device. This could help individuals with PD continue to walk for longer and subsequently help improve their quality of life.

Expected Outcome:  From our work, we expect to create a prototype device that has the potential to assist individuals dealing with Freezing of Gait. Indicators of the success of this project will be determined by feedback from a local PD support group.  We expect that the users of this device will be able to minimize their incidents of freezing. While the disabilities and discomforts associated with symptoms of PD will continue, we believe this device will enable its user to cope with difficulties from FOG, increase mobility, and improve their quality of life.

2015 Project Update:

Integrated Gait Solutions is a Cal Poly born mobility device design team.  Two of our prototypes are effectively alleviating Freezing of Gait for a local member of the Central Coast Parkinson Support Group.  The team is currently working to create improved prototypes, conduct more user trials, and of course to get the word out.  Their mission is to ease the freeze.