2009: A breakthrough year

Dr Kieran BreenIt's been a fantastic year for research at the Parkinson's Disease Society, and a fitting celebration of our 40th Anniversary and four decades of discovery

This year we have invested more than £4million in 24 cutting edge research projects, exploring everything from what causes Parkinson's, to better treatments and a cure

Parkinson's Awareness Week in April saw the public respond in their thousands to our Brain Donor Appeal. We smashed our target to double the number of people on our brain donor register by the end of 2009 - which will boost Parkinson's research all over the world.

In August, research we funded at the University of Sheffield uncovered a major new lead for Parkinson's. Researchers found that stimulating a pathway inside nerve cells may be the key to developing new drugs that could slow or halt the progression of the condition.

But perhaps the thing I'm most excited about is The Monument Discovery Award. This groundbreaking project will be the largest we've ever funded at £5million over 5 years. It brings together a world-class team of researchers at the University of Oxford to accelerate progress towards a cure for Parkinson's.

Thanks to you we are making a difference and building momentum towards our ultimate goal – a cure.

I don't know about you but I can't wait for 2010.

Dr Kieran Breen is Director of Research and Development at the Parkinson's Disease Society

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