Living With and Ending Parkinson's Disease

Silhouette profile of a woman's face made from scraps of torn paper

WHEN
Thursday, March 11, 2021
11:00 a.m. (Pacific Standard Time)

LOCATION
Online

PRICE
Free


 

A Speaker Series:Toxicology and Societies:
The Impacts of Chemicals in Our Lives 

Thursday, March 11, 2021
11:00 a.m. PST

Brought to you in partnership with the Huxley College of the Environment’s Institute of Toxicology and Chemistry and the WWU Alumni Association

Please join us for our series on Toxicology and Societies: The Impacts of Chemicals in our Lives. Dr. Okun will talk about his books Living with Parkinson’s Disease and Ending Parkinson’s Disease.  

Living with Parkinson's Disease: Worldwide, there are more than 10 million people living with Parkinson's disease (PD). In the US alone, approximately one million Americans live with PD and approximately 60,000 more are diagnosed each year. Internationally renowned as both a neurologist and a leading researcher, Dr. Okun has been referred to as "the voice" of these patients and a world authority on Parkinson's disease. His positive and optimistic approach has helped countless people manage their symptoms and achieve happiness despite them. This approach, detailed in his new book, Living with Parkinson's Disease, is a critical resource for Parkinson's disease patients and their families. Presented in a friendly and easy-to-understand way, this book addresses PD-related issues and symptoms along with emerging therapies. In each chapter, Dr. Okun offers patients the necessary tools to manage their disease and to ultimately find joy and fulfilment in their lives.

Ending Parkinson's Disease: Parkinson’s disease is the fastest growing neurological disorder in the world. Over the past twenty-five years, the number of people with the condition has jumped from 3 million to over 6 million. By 2040, it will likely double again. We are failing to stop this onslaught. Harmful pesticides and other toxic chemicals that contribute to Parkinson’s surround us. At the same time, our investment in new therapies has lagged behind the disease, and many people remain undiagnosed and untreated.

Our vision in developing this series was to support a better understanding of something that affects all of us. There are over 300,000 chemicals being produced and used in almost everything we wear, eat, and drink. How can you ever hope to understand when and where you or your family might be at risk from some of these chemicals? The short answer is, you can’t know everything about all of these substances, but you can learn more about how toxicology (the study of toxic substances) affects you and your society.

This seminar series aims to help you better appreciate, understand, and evaluate the many ways that manufactured chemicals interact with all humans on Earth.

More information about the speaker series is available here.

Michael Okun

Dr. Michael Okun

Presenter

Michael S. Okun received his M.D. with honors from the University of Florida. He was fellowship trained by Mahlon DeLong, Jerrold Vitek and Ray Watts at Emory University in Atlanta GA before moving to found the movement disorders program at the University of Florida.

He is currently Chair of Neurology, Professor and Executive Director of the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at the University of Florida Health College of Medicine.

The UF institute he co-founded with Kelly D. Foote, M.D. is unique in that it is comprised of over 100 interdisciplinary faculty members from diverse areas of campus, all of whom are dedicated to care, outreach, education and research. Dr. Okun was instrumental in the construction of a one-stop patient-centered clinical-research experience for national and international patients seeking care at the University of Florida.  This change in care and research delivery has since been named the service and science hub model of care. The UF based center draws national and international visitors interested in deploying this innovative clinical-research model.

Dr. Okun has served as the National Medical Director for the Parkinson’s Foundation since 2006 and as the Medical Advisor for Tyler’s Hope for a Dystonia Cure. He has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Smallwood Foundation, the Tourette Association of America, the Parkinson Alliance, the Bachmann-Strauss Foundation, the Parkinson’s Foundation, and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Dr. Okun has an active research career exploring non-motor basal ganglia brain features and currently holds two NIH R01 grants and several foundation grants exploring various aspects of deep brain stimulation and neuromodulation. Dr. Okun has been an integral part of some of the pioneering studies exploring the cognitive, behavioral, and mood effects of brain stimulation and since 2005 his laboratory has been working to uncover the electrical brain signals associated with human tic.

He has also partnered with Dr. Ayse Gunduz and Kelly Foote to develop a first generation of closed loop adaptive deep brain stimulation approaches. Dr. Okun was the founding PI for the International Database and Public Registry for Tourette Deep Brain Stimulation. He and his group have contributed data to support the FDA approval of several device related approaches now used to treat human disease. Dr. Okun holds the Adelaide Lackner Professorship in Neurology and has published over 400 peer-reviewed articles.

He is a poet (Lessons From the Bedside, 1995) and his book, Parkinson’s Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life, was translated into over 20 languages. Dr. Okun was recognized in a 2015 White House ceremony by the Obama administration as a Champion of Change for Parkinson’s Disease.

Ruth Sofield

Ruth Sofield

Co-Host

Ruth Sofield is a Professor of environmental toxicology and chemistry in the Huxley College of the Environment. She received her Ph.D. and M.S. in Environmental Science and Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. Ruth’s research group focuses on the effects of water and air pollution. Their current projects include the aquatic toxicity of microplastic and tire wear particles, and the use of moss as a biomonitoring tool for particulate matter. Ruth is a member of the Puget Sound Partnership Science Panel and the President of the Pacific Northwest Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

Tracy Collier

Tracy Collier

Co-Host

Tracy Collier received his Ph.D. in Fisheries Sciences from the University of Washington. He has worked for over 45 years as a toxicologist, with more than 35 of those years spent at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center, where he served as the director of a science division that employed up to 100 people, covering several disciplines, including environmental toxicology, analytical chemistry, harmful algal blooms, and watershed processes. He has over 175 scientific publications, and currently is an affiliate faculty at Western.

Questions and Accommodations

Contact the WWU Alumni Association for this event. Feel free to call at (360) 650-3353 or email at alumni@wwu.edu if you have any questions or comments.

There will be auto-captions available for this event. To request closed captions, please mark the request on the registration form. Advance notice of three days to one week is appreciated.