Dominic Graham, Parkinson’s Europe operations director, said: “We all have the same goal: for The Spark logo to, over time, help Parkinson’s community speak with one voice on World Parkinson’s Day – thereby amplifying our own individual voices, and creating a bigger impact globally year after year.”
Developed with input from people in the international Parkinson’s community, the logo’s design is inspired by dopamine – the neurotransmitter associated with the condition. It can be personalised to suit individual wants, with dozens of pre-made graphics and translated text assets available – along with a guide designed to help people get creative.
The collective, which also includes the Davis Phinney Foundation and the Brian Grant Foundation, hopes that by encouraging organisations and individuals to use the logo on their promotional materials this World Parkinson’s Day, The Spark will lead to more coordinated action for Parkinson’s awareness.
“The ‘who’s who’ of Parkinson’s have combined forces behind a new symbol to keep the condition front of mind for everyone,” says Larry Gifford, co-founder of the PD Avengers, a global advocacy group led by people with the condition. “The Spark is intended to electrify a powerful movement, and change how all of us think about Parkinson’s.”
“People with Parkinson’s and their families cannot wait for change to happen to them,” adds Graham. “We need to create that change ourselves, and we hope this logo will be an important step in that direction.”
Parkinson’s Europe co-founder Lizzie Graham wins World Parkinson Coalition award
Parkinson’s Europe co-founder Lizzie Graham has won a World Parkinson Coalition (WPC) award for her contribution to the Parkinson’s community. Lizzie is one of four people set to receive the Robin Elliott Award – which is given out every three years to individuals whose efforts best embody the goals and ethos of the WPC. She will be presented with the award in a ceremony at the World Parkinson’s Congress, which will be held in Barcelona later this year. Commenting on the news of Lizzie’s award, Parkinson’s Europe President, Veronica Clark, said: “Lizzie is Lizzie, and we love her for who she is and what she has done for us all – for people with Parkinson’s past and present and, I’m sure, future.” Lizzie co-founded the European Parkinson’s Disease Association (renamed Parkinson’s Europe last year) in 1992. She has since held several roles within the organisation – including secretary general and…
Study explores predictors of cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease
Cognitive impairment can affect some people with Parkinson’s – and may greatly impact their quality of life. Now, researchers in China have examined the possible risk factors for cognitive impairment in those with the condition. The study analysed data from 409 people with Parkinson’s within two years of their involvement in the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) – an international study that follows people with and without the condition over time. The participants, who were newly diagnosed and experiencing normal cognitive function at the start of the research, were studied for at least five years. Published in ‘Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience’, the results indicate that older age at onset, high blood pressure and worse baseline motor symptoms may be among factors that could contribute to an increased risk of developing cognitive impairment. The researchers cautioned that “a larger sample and much more comprehensive assessment, and prolonged follow-up, will be required”.
Could frailty be a potential risk factor for Parkinson’s disease?
Frailty can refer to a reduction in physical function, and its attributes – including a slow walking speed and weak grip – are commonly experienced by people with Parkinson’s. Until now, there has been limited insight into the link between frailty and the risk of developing the condition over time. This is what led researchers at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China to analyse data from a large UK study, which was gathered over a 12-year period. Published in JAMA Neurology, the analysis found that frailty may be linked to an 87% higher risk of developing the condition. Commenting on the results, the researchers said: “These findings indicate that physical frailty is a potential risk factor for [Parkinson’s], and the assessment and management of frailty might have clinical significance in the at-risk population.”