Understanding the causes to find a cure: Joint EuChemS-EFMC workshop in the European Parliament on Parkinson’s disease

On 8 November, experts from the scientific community, alongside Members of the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), came together to discuss the latest treatments for Parkinson’s disease, but also its causes, and how we are to move forward at the clinical and political level.

The discussion which took part in the European Parliament in Brussels, was chaired by Member of the European Parliament Pavel Poc, and jointly organised by the European Chemical Society (EuChemS) and the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC).

The aim of the workshop was to provide a kaleidoscopic overview of the latest treatments for Parkinson’s, but also to take a closer look at some of its causes. Talking about the disease, and trying to address its challenges will only grow in importance as it becomes more common in the face of an ageing population.  The speakers highlighted the complexity of the disease as well as the variety of causes that can trigger its development, whether age-related, genetic predispositions, but also due to contact with potentially harmful toxins. The session also highlighted the importance of creating spaces of discussion between the scientific community and policymakers to better ensure understanding and support. EuChemS also highlighted the need for a more ambitious budget for the future research framework programme, Horizon Europe, which could very well enable important steps being taken in developing novel and more efficient treatments for Parkinson’s disease. For more details of the session, you can take a look at the presentations online.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease which is characterised by difficulty in moving and tremor, as well as psychiatric issues. It leads to a progressive reduction in the quality of life and those affected require increasing care. The physical suffering, emotional distress, and the economic burden this provokes is at risk of increasing as our populations live longer and become more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease as they age.

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