The Parkinson's Disease Society (PDS) is launching a nationwide appeal today for people with and without Parkinson's disease to donate their brains to research and help discover a cure for the condition which affects one in 500 people.
Research using donated brain tissue has already led to important breakthroughs in the treatment and understanding of Parkinson's including the development of anti-Parkinson's drug, levodopa which has revolutionised the way symptoms are controlled.
However, only 1,000 people in the UK have currently joined the Parkinson's Brain Donor Register to donate their brain for scientific research. The PDS, which is launching the Parkinson's Brain Donor Appeal in its 40th Anniversary year, wants to double the number of brain donors to 2,000 by the end of 2009.
The prospect of brain donation maybe daunting so the PDS are inviting you to submit your questions and concerns about brain donation.
Are you interested in knowing how donating your brain will help research? What exactly will happen to your brain? How might your family feel about you donating your brain? Why does it seem easier to imagine donating your heart or kidney, rather than your brain?
Jane Asher and John Stapleton are among well known supporters who are committing to donating their brains to research into the condition.
PDS President, Jane Asher, whose brother-in-law was diagnosed with Parkinson's, will be joining us live in the studio along with Steve Ford, Chief Executive of PDS and Lubna Arif, Research Liaisons Manager for the PDS. They will be answering your questions about Parkinson's and the issues surrounding brain donation.
Join us live online to discuss Parkinson's disease, recent breakthroughs in research and the vital role of brain donation.
For more information about the Parkinson's Brain Donor Appeal visit: www.parkinsons.org.uk/brainbank