Ray L. Watts, MDDirector of Clinical Research and Chairman of Neurology
Drs. Standaert and Watts believe current and emerging treatment therapies mean that medicine is on the brink of finding a cure for Parkinson's disease. Current therapies improve symptoms in the early phases of Parkinson's disease but become less effective as the underlying disease progresses," says Dr. Watts. "Neuroprotective drugs that block biochemical pathways and promote cell health hold tremendous promise for halting, or at least slowing, disease progression."
In 2003, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) designated the Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorder Research Program as 1 of 41 institutions nationwide with such a program conducting clinical trials assessing safety and efficacy of novel neuroprotective and symptomatic medical strategies designed to increase and enhance treatment options for patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), as well as to delay or arrest the premature neuronal loss underlying the disease's disabling symptoms. These research efforts are ongoing.
In 2006, UAB was named home to one of eight advanced centers for Parkinson's research nationally by the American Parkinson's Disease Association.