We’re often asked about duplication in Parkinson’s research, and why seemingly similar projects are being carried out by different research teams around the world.
A prime example of this is stem cell research.
In August last year Parkinson's UK-funded scientists succeeded in growing new nerve cells with a rare inherited form of Parkinson's.
This was followed swiftly in February this year by a research team in the US who announced that they too had made skin cells from nerve cells with genetic Parkinson's.
On the surface, these 2 achievements look identical. But dig a little deeper and you'll find a subtle but crucial difference.
Our researchers grew nerve cells with a mutation in alpha-synuclein, whereas the US team were studying cells with a change in the Parkin gene – 2 very different genetic mutations that have vastly different impacts on the nerve cells.
At Parkinson's UK we work hard to make sure every penny raised for research works as hard as possible.
Our rigorous research funding process involves international experts and people affected by Parkinson's which helps us to avoid duplication and make sure the projects we fund are meaningful to people living with condition.
We talk to other key players in the research community - including pharmaceutical companies, researchers, other funders and government bodies - to keep us right at the heart of international Parkinson's research.
And we're helping researchers to share their knowledge and work together.
Our research conference brings the UK Parkinson's research community together to share and discuss all the latest research.
And we provide funding to researchers for themed research workshops to bring people in their field together and develop new ideas.
So next time you see a familiar piece of research news, look a little closer – it's probably more exciting than you think.
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