J. Eric Ahlskog, M.D., Ph.D.
J. Eric Ahlskog, M.D., Ph.D.

Individuals living with Parkinson’s disease, along with their families and caregivers, will have the opportunity to hear from a popular author and expert on the treatment of Parkinson’s, J. Eric Ahlskog, MD, PhD, at the annual Bill Collins Symposium for Parkinson’s Disease. The annual symposium also will include care insights for patients, families and caregivers by the providers of UofL Physicians – Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders clinic.

The half-day event is Saturday, March 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the conference center of the Rudd Heart and Lung Building, 201 Abraham Flexner Way, next to Jewish Hospital. There is no charge to attend.

Ahlskog, professor of neurology at Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, is the author of “The New Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Book,” a popular guide for people with Parkinson’s disease and their families. He will give the keynote talk for the symposium, “Debunking Ten Myths that May Sabotage Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease.”

In addition, Karen Robinson, PhD, FAAN, of the UofL School of Nursing, will discuss the importance of support for caregivers, and Robert Friedland, MD, professor and researcher in the Department of Neurology at UofL, will explain the impact of the microbiome in Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Finally, a panel discussion will include providers from the UofL Physicians – Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders clinic.

“We have organized this opportunity to allow patients and their families to meet one another and to learn about the best ways to manage the journey of Parkinson’s disease,” said Kathrin LaFaver, MD, director of the UofL Physicians – Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders clinic and the Raymond Lee Lebby Chair in Parkinson’s Disease Research at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. “This year, they will have a unique chance to hear from Dr. Ahlskog, a renowned expert in Parkinson’s care. We also will introduce a caregivers’ support group, which will begin in March.”

Parkinson’s disease caregiver support group

Caring for a partner or family member with Parkinson’s disease has many rewards, but also has been associated with physical, mental, social and financial stressors. Beginning in March, the UofL Physicians – Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders clinic will offer a monthly caregiver support group led by Kelly Bickett, a registered nurse in the movement clinic with special expertise in the care of Parkinson’s disease. To facilitate attendance at support group meetings, respite care will be made available on an as-needed basis through a professional health-care agency for up to four hours. 

The group will begin Friday, March 29, and meet the fourth Friday of each month from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Register for the support group by calling 502-582-7654.

Bill Collins Symposium for Parkinson’s Disease agenda

  • Keynote: “Debunking Ten Myths that May Sabotage Treatment,” by J. Eric Ahlskog, MD, PhD
  • Active Break: Dance for Health – David X. Thurmond, professional dancer, choreographer and teacher
  • Microbiome in Parkinson’s disease and dementia – Robert P. Friedland, MD, UofL Department of Neurology and the Mason C. and Mary D. Rudd Endowed Chair in Neurology
  • Supporting caregivers of those with Parkinson’s disease – Karen Robinson, PhD, FAAN, UofL School of Nursing
  • Panel discussion with Ahlskog and Kathrin LaFaver, MD, along with Victoria Holiday, MD, UofL Department of Neurology and Laura Dixon, D.N.P. A.P.R.N., UofL Physicians – Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders.

There is no charge to attend the symposium, but please register by Feb. 25 by calling 502-582-7654 or via email. Include your name, the number of guests attending and a telephone number.

Betty Coffman
Betty Coffman is a Health Communications Specialist, working on the Health Sciences Campus with departments in the School of Medicine. A UofL alumna and Louisville native, she served as a writer and editor for local and national publications and as an account services coordinator and copywriter for marketing and design firms prior to joining UofL’s Office of Marketing and Communications.