We seek to raise community awareness of the need for earlier, accurate diagnosis; of new and emerging treatments; of opportunities to participate in groundbreaking research to slow or stop progression, to find a cure, and to develop more effective and safer medications; and of available educational and supportive services.
We exist because...
Neurodegenerative diseases affect millions of people worldwide, and their prevalence is increasing at a rate disproportionate to longevity. We know that these diseases result from progressive damage to cells in the brain and nervous system, but we must improve our understanding of these conditions and seek novel approaches for treatment and prevention.
- Institute for Neurodegenerative diseases of Florida (IND Florida) houses both the Parkinson’s Research & Education Foundation + Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s Research and Education Foundation
- IND is one of the only Comprehensive Clinical and Research Centers in South Florida for patients with Parkinson’s & Alzheimer’s.
- IND Florida fills vital unmet needs by providing educational, wellness, and supportive services to help patients, caregivers and family members cope with challenges encountered from diagnosis throughout long-term treatment
Parkinson’s affects mobility resulting from too little dopamine being produced in the brain. Alzheimer’s affects memory and thinking skills related to several brain chemicals and is the most common and costly neurodegenerative disease. Current treatments though are suboptimal and available medications are often underutilized by patients and their physicians
- We aim to raise awareness and provide information about current and emerging treatments, and about opportunities to participate in groundbreaking research trials to find better treatments and to slow or stop progression of these diseases
- Multiple clinical trials also ongoing for more accurate diagnosis, using biomarker development, brain imaging and gene testing – all available to the community anonymously without cost
- We provide educational seminars, support groups, annual symposia, patient and caregiver support groups, wellness activities, balance and safety workshops
- Traditionally, neurodegenerative diseases have been divided into cognitive disorders (i.e. AD, FTD, LBD) and movement disorders (i.e. PD, MSA, PSP). This has resulted in the field of cognitive disorders operating independently from the field of movement disorders in terms of treatment, management, and research and development. However, we believe that there is substantial overlap between neurodegenerative diseases. By uniting the fields of cognitive and movement disorders, we believe we can gain a deeper understanding of their shared pathological mechanisms and find better opportunities for successful prevention.
- Neurodegenerative diseases develop decades before the first obvious symptoms begin. While there is no “magic pill” to prevent these disorders, implementing evidence-based, multimodal intervention strategies before clinical symptoms manifest can enhance brain health and may ultimately prevent or delay disease onset.
Our Foundation provides...
- In 2020, Dr. Greer joined PAREF and Healthcare Services, Education & Care Program Manager. She leads our team to help support and direct outreach and educational interventions for lifestyle-based interventions, such as nutrition and exercise, related to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions. She is a physician trained at the University of Miami, University of Southern California, NewYork-Presbyterian, Weill Cornell Medicine, and has a Masters in Human Nutrition from Columbia University.
- Our Scientific Advisory Board include PD and AD experts from major national universities, and ongoing collaborations with Michael J. Fox Foundation, Parkinson’s Study Group, and the pharmaceutical industry. PAREF’s Clinical Trial Consortium is led by national experts with extensive life cycle management experience in new drug development through commercialization.
- Our Medical Director is an internationally recognized expert in neurodegenerative disorders; specifically, Parkinson’s Disease. He is involved in steering the clinical development of numerous new medications for these disorders, including several FDA-approved in the past five years. He also is a frequent invited lecturer at national and international scientific meetings, and author of over 100 research abstracts and papers. In 1999, he established the center to provide holistic care and access to research programs for patients from Miami Beach to Vero Beach. We werer established in 2004 to support outreach, awareness, research, and educational activities.
ABOUT PARKINSON'S DISEASE & ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE
Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurodegenerative brain disorder, which causes tremors and difficulty with movement and coordination. Parkinson’s affects nerve cells—called neurons—in a particular part of the brain called the substantia nigra. These neurons normally produce dopa- mine, a brain chemical that relays messages between the substantia nigra and other parts of the brain that control muscle movement. These dopamine-producing neurons are slowly destroyed over time, eventually preventing normal control of movement. The cause of the neuronal degeneration is unknown. In the U.S. more than fifty thousand new PD cases are diagnosed each year. Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (which can include, but are not limited to muscle rigidity, tremors, slowed movement, drooling, and difficulty with balance) may initially be mild and may affect one or both sides of the body.
Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common neurodegenerative disorder affecting over 5.8 million Americans and tens of millions of people around the world. It is the most costly disease in the U.S. and while there are currently a few FDA-approved therapies that offer modest benefits, and some disease-modifying therapies currently being studied, there is no cure yet on the horizon. Most people are unaware that 4 out of every 10 cases of Alzheimer’s may be preventable based on modifiable risk factors (based on the 2020 Lancet Commission Report). PAREF aims to educate the public about these lifestyle based interventions for patients at risk.