Many of the 42 individuals who participated in the Bristol GDNF clinical trial will undertake a unifying challenge in 2021, to highlight and support the future of neurotrophic factor therapies. 42 individuals or teams – including many of the trial participants, their teams and/or representatives of the Parkinson’s charities who funded the trial – will each run, cycle, walk or hike a total of 100 miles over 10 days. Each team will include participants themselves, their families, their friends and other supporters who, like the participants, believe in the future of neurotrophic factors.
The 42 trial participants were willing to submit to ground-breaking clinical trials in [2014-2016] involving invasive brain surgery and infusions of a specific neurotrophic factor, GDNF; an amazing and inspirational experience highlighted in the double award-winning BBC documentary “The Parkinson’s Drug Trial – A Miracle Cure?”. Since then they have sought to put the spotlight on their belief that the treatment worked. To that end the GDNF Participant group, which represents a large number of the brave volunteers, wish to unite with Parkinson’s charities and other organisations to help realise the potential of neurotrophic factors to unlock Parkinson’s.
The Challenge will bring people and organisations together, to raise awareness of and urgency for the need for a cure and put people affected by Parkinson’s truly at the centre of trial design. The Challenge will also raise funds to progress research and trials into the beneficial effects of neurotrophic factors, increasingly seen by science as having the potential for a cure.
The three Parkinson’s charities who funded the Bristol based tria
l have stepped up to the Challenge and are themselves putting forward individuals and/or teams to join the other entrants. Parkinson’s UK, Cure Parkinsons and Funding Neuro are each aiming for the common goal of 100 miles in the ten days. These charities remain involved in investigating, testing and trialling the effect of neurotrophic factors on Parkinson’s, raising awareness of their potential for cure and placing urgency to eliminate Parkinson’s at the heart of their organisations.
The challenge will take place on 1-10 April 2021, in the run-up to World Parkinson’s Day on 11 April 2021. The intention is that all participants and teams will then celebrate success at a special event on 17 April 2021.