UCI Health Parkinson's Disease Symposium to behavioral symptoms, surgical options and research into novel therapies

Annual conference is open to patients, families and caregivers

October 02, 2018

UCI Health will present a free Parkinson’s disease symposium on Saturday, Oct. 13, for patients and their caregivers to learn more about behavioral symptoms, surgical options and research into novel therapies.

The conference, “Treatment Options in Parkinson’s Disease: From Behavior to Movement,” will take place from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at the UC Irvine Student Center Ballroom, 311 W. Peltason Dr., Irvine. It will feature three lectures, each followed by a panel discussion where neurologists and neurosurgeons will answer questions from the audience.  

An estimated 8,000 people in Orange County have Parkinson’s, a neurodegenerative disorder that causes impaired movement but can also trigger cognitive and emotional changes like memory loss and depression.

“I think it’s an important event because it affects many people in our community,” said program director Nicolás Phielipp, MD, an assistant professor of neurology. “They can understand more about what’s going on, what are the treatment options, and hopefully cope better with the disease.”

The first lecture, presented by UCI’s Anna Morenkova, MD, PhD, will cover behavioral symptoms and coping strategies.

The next two speakers will come from the University of Toronto, a prominent center for Parkinson’s research. 

Neurosurgeon Suneil Kalia, MD, PhD, will discuss surgical options, with an emphasis on deep brain stimulation. Kalia said the technique, which involves placing electrodes into the brain, can “substantially improve a patient’s quality of life by helping to mitigate many of the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.”

Finally, neurologist Lorraine Kalia, MD, PhD, will talk about the role of a protein called Alpha-synuclein in the development of Parkinson’s. She will also discuss how early clinical trials are seeking to rid the brain abnormal accumulation of the protein, including through a vaccine.

“There is a lot of effort being made to find cures for this disease and treatments that are really different and out of the box compared to the type of treatments that we currently use,” she said. 

UCI and University of Toronto physicians will participate in the panel discussions. 

Although the event is free, registration is required at ucihealth.org/parkinsonsevent

Free parking is also available in the Student Center parking structure. Information: 949-824-0190

About UCI Health: UCI Health comprises the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access its physicians at offices throughout Orange County and at its main campus, UCI Medical Center in Orange, California. The 417-bed acute care hospital provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, and behavioral health and rehabilitation services. U.S. News & World Report has listed it among “America’s Best Hospitals” for 17 consecutive years. UCI Medical Center features Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program, Level I trauma center and Level II pediatric trauma center, and it’s the primary teaching hospital for the UCI School of Medicine. UCI Health serves a region of more than 3 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.