Parkinson's Oxford and District Parkinson's UK
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Recent media coverage and special events

Reading University honours collaboration

Reading University honours collaboration

Our Chair honoured by Open University

Our Chair honoured by Open University

Oxford Branch at London conference

Oxford Branch at London conference

Brain Awareness Week 2018

Brain Awareness Week 2018

Layla Moran MP visits our exercise and voice classes

Layla Moran MP visits our exercise and voice classes

Parkinson's advocacy at 10 Downing Street

Parkinson's advocacy at 10 Downing Street

The funny side of Parkinson's in the media

The funny side of Parkinson's in the media

Our patient-led conference

Proceedings now online!Our patient-led conference

Reading University celebrates collaboration

Dr Patrick Lewis Happy winners Citation in the award ceremony brochure

Sally went to Reading University on 19th June for their Research Engagement and Impact Awards at the invitation of Dr Patrick Lewis. Patrick had submitted his contribution to our Parkinsons's 200 Plus conference and linked events as an example of how Reading researchers can inform the public about research. We were thrilled that his submission won the award in the Inform category.

Open University honours our Chair

Presentation of the degree Sally's acceptance speech Mayor of Poole or pirate captain? Celebrating with Julia Gracey, chair of Poole branch
Pictures from the degree ceremony on 21st April 2018

On 21st April the Open University conferred the honorary degree of Master of the University on our Chair, Sally Bromley. The degree ceremony, one of 12 taking place around the country this year, took place in Poole's Lighthouse Arts Centre. You can read more about this in the Oxford Mail.

To round off a fine day of Parkinson's awareness-raising, there was a showing of Sue Wylie's fascinating short film "Kinetics".

Brain artwork Snail © 2018 Rebecca Ivatts
Brain artwork "Snail" © 2018 Rebecca Ivatts

Brain Awareness Week, March 2018

As part of this global initiative, Oxford University's Department of Neuroscience staged a stimulating series of public events including talks and a film. You can find more about the global campaign on the Dana Foundation's website.

The image you see to the right is an artwork by Rebecca Ivatts reflecting on the relationship between Parkinson's, its symptoms and various parts of the brain. It was on display at the Ashmolean Museum on Saturday 17th March as part of a wonderful event on the effect of art on the brain, including a talk by Zoi Kapoula of the Université Paris Descartes.

Sally presenting in London
Sally presenting in London

Our Chair speaks at London conference

On 16th March 2018, Sally gave a talk on Learning from Lived Experience at a conference focusing on the newly updated NICE quality guidelines for Parkinson's. Several speakers, including Sally, strongly emphasised the critical importance of close collaboration between PwP and medical professionals. Find full details of Sally's talk and related resources here.

Layla Moran MP visits our classes
Image from Layla Moran MP's Twitter feed @LaylaMoran

Layla Moran MP visits our exercise and voice classes

We were excited that our local MP Layla Moran (Lib Dem) visited our voice class and Big Bold and Balance exercise class on Friday 17th November 2018. Layla is MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, and is her party's science and education spokesperson.

The funny side of Parkinson's in the media

We think you will enjoy this short amusing article on Parkinson's in the Daily Express, written by Paul Mayhew-Archer. It is always good to see awareness of Parkinson's being raised in the national press, especially if it's with a positive point of view.

You may also enjoy Paul's interview on the parkinsonslife.eu website. That site is a great source of interesting stories and optimistic takes on Parkinson's.

Don't forget that the half-hour documentary Parkinson's: The Funny Side is permanently available on BBC iPlayer at this link.

Parkinson's UK delegation to 10 Downing Street

Downing Street lineup Emma Lawton Funny guys Keeping the PM amused Prime Minister Theresa May Paul and Billy
Images © Parkinson's UK, available at their Flickr site

Parkinson's UK recently arranged a meeting with the Prime Minister, Theresa May, at 10 Downing Street. As well as senior members of the charity, many well-known figures connected with Parkinson's were there. No fewer than four of them had been speakers at our September 2017 conference! Among them was Paul Mayhew-Archer, who writes:

Not only am I lucky enough to have Dr Who as my neurologist but I have now had the thrill of going inside a Tardis.

OK. To be accurate, my neurologist is Dr Hu. And I haven't been in an actual Tardis, but 10 Downing St feels pretty similar. You go through a front door and suddenly you're in a building that stretches back down Whitehall. You can't help feeling if you found a wardrobe in one of the rooms Mr Tumnus would pop out and usher you into Narnia.

The reason I was visiting Downing St was because the Prime Minister was hosting a reception for Parkinson's UK to commemorate the 200 years since James Parkinson wrote his essay.

It was - like every day living with Parkinson's - a day when I felt both 'off' and 'on', down and up.

I was very "up" as I waited to go in. Then I got talking to some leading Parkinson's researchers and I felt "down" when one of them revealed he was contemplating leaving the country if Brexit turned out badly or if his European wife continued to feel unwelcome. We are lucky that we have some of the greatest minds in the world working on Parkinson's, but of course great minds are offered jobs everywhere. Will we continue to attract and keep the best?

Incidentally, there are occasions when the word "Brexit" seems like the word "Voldemort" - that which must not be spoken. But I spoke it in No 10 and from what I can gather - and I am sure someone will correct me if I have gathered it wrongly - the thinking, the hope, seems to be that in ten years time we'll be able to look back on Brexit and feel we did the right thing. My own concern of course is the ten years in between. Speaking as someone who is 64 and from Oxford, a world-renowned centre for Parkinson's research, the next ten years are pretty important. I would simply urge Parkinson's UK to pressurise all those in power to ensure that scientific collaboration and endeavour continues as smoothly as possible.

For me, this was a day of exciting brief encounters. Not only did I get to meet the Prime Minister - I was moved to discover that her mother had MS - but I also got to meet Billy Connolly, probably the greatest standup comedian the UK has ever produced and one of my comedy heroes. He is still very funny.

It was also a thrill to meet Pamela Stephenson, Billy's wife, Jane Asher, the President of PUK, the splendidly enthusiastic staff at PUK and Adil Ray (Citizen Khan) whose mother has Parkinson's.

Two moments, however, stand out for me and they both involve people with early onset Parkinson's.

One was the presentation of an award to James Morgan and Juliette Pochin, the amazing organisers of the Symfunny Concerts. James was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2012 at the age of 42.

The other was the speech by Emma Lawton.

Emma was diagnosed 4 years ago when she was 29. Not only does she have Parkinson's but her neck muscles have collapsed on one side because of a problem that she told me is not due to the Parkinson's. "Of all the luck," she said brightly.

Before Steve Ford and Theresa May spoke, expressing their determination to fight yet harder for a cure and better treatment, we heard from Emma. My Goodness. What an astonishing person she is. She meets everything she faces with such spirit and such humour. She's going to have a go at stand up comedy and I think she'll be terrific.

She was the reason I ended the day on a wonderful 'up'. Parkinson's is horrible and ruthless, but the people it attacks seem to be extraordinary, inspirational people: People like Emma and James and Billy, and also people in my local group like Sally and Jem and many others. The Parkinson's community is full of people who inspire researchers to dig deeper into their brilliant brains and inspire politicians and the public to dig deeper into their pockets. While they do so there is hope for us all.

Essay front cover P200+ poster
Marking 200 years

PROCEEDINGS NOW ONLINE! Parkinson's 200 Plus

On 18th September 2017 our Branch proudly presented a conference marking the bicentenary of publication of An Essay on the Shaking Palsy by James Parkinson.

Presentation screencasts

Most of the presentations are now available online as videos of the presentation slides along with the presenter's voice. Follow this link to see the full collection on our Vimeo channel, or browse the conference timetable with links to each individual video.

Panel sessions online

Panel 1: The promise of future therapies

Research leaders Richard Wade-Martins, Richard Wyse and Arthur Roach discuss what we can expect to see in the near future, in a session chaired by Kevin McFarthing. Available as an MP3 audio podcast at this link.

Panel 2: Living better with Parkinson's

Parkinson's nurse Jo Bromley chairs a panel with inspirational PwPs John Foster, Emma Lawton and Alex Reed. Transcript document (PDF) available at this link.