Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center Strives to Offer Clinical Research for All

The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix is expanding the amount of clinical trials and research studies available so that eventually every patient will have the ability to qualify for and participate in a cutting-edge research opportunity. These new trials will be part of this weekend’s discussion at the newly named Muhammad Ali All Star Conference.

This Saturday, from 10 AM to 3:30 PM, the center will host the conference in collaboration with local Parkinson’s organization Baehr Challenge. Parking is free and a cold lunch will be provided, but space is limited. Members of the public who wish to attend can call 1-877-602-4111 to register.

The Muhammad Ali All Star Conference will feature experts discussing the latest advances and opportunities related to cognitive fitness, research, and treatment options, as well as the importance of exercise, hope, and resilience.

“It is our hope that anyone who comes to the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center will not only receive the same great level of care that Muhammad Ali received, but that each person will have the opportunity to qualify for and participate in a revolutionary trial or study,” says Holly Shill, MD, movement disorder neurologist and Director of the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute. Dr. Shill will provide closing remarks at the conference.

The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center currently has 15 active clinical trials and several other research studies which range from the exploration of exercise to brain imaging. Other studies involve recreational therapy, new drug therapies, a surgical procedure called deep brain stimulation (DBS), physical and occupational therapies, speech therapy, and different types of support systems. Barrow, which is part of Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, performs more DBS surgeries than anywhere else in the United States.

In addition to Dr. Shill, attendees will also hear from Barrow neurosurgeon Francisco Ponce, MD; Duke School of Medicine movement disorder neurologist and researcher Mark Stacy, MD; Parkinson Wellness Recovery physical therapist Jennifer Bazan-Wigle, PhD; award-winning lecturer and adjunct professor at Arizona State University, Rick Miller; and associate dean and professor at Arizona State University, psychologist David Coon, PhD.

This conference replaces the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center’s annual Morris K. Udall Educational Symposium and the Baehr Challenge All Star Conference. Both organizations are dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s disease and their families. An estimated 1 million people in the United States are living with Parkinson’s disease.