By Sheryl Jedlinski

The Midwest Chapter’s annual Symposium chalked up a number of firsts and set a new attendance record, drawing about 350 people with Parkinson’s disease, their friends, family members, and caregivers.

“Our goal is for the Symposium to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease and to inform as many as people as possible about new treatments, programs, and services that can help them live well longer with this incurable disease," said Chapter Board Member and Symposium Chairperson Jo-Ann Golec. “The numbers speaks volumes for the popularity of this event.”                                                                                                                                          

The day’s events included a number of firsts:

  1. BulletAll presentations were professionally video-taped and will be available online for viewing in early May. This extends our reach to those who were unable to attend our Symposium. Thanks to the generosity of the University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Science for making this possible.   

  1. “It is great to have this opportunity available, but if you can make it to the Symposium it is always more fun to be there in person, ask questions, and meet other people in your situation,” Jo-Ann says.

  1. BulletPeople with Young Onset Parkinson’s disease were given the option to be grouped together at their own tables so they could discuss their common concerns and questions and share solutions and resources. Next year, people will be able to request Young Onset seating at the time of registration.

  2. “Giving younger people with Parkinson’s the opportunity to sit together created connections that would not have otherwise been made,” said Julie Sacks, Director of the APDA National Young Onset Center.

  3. Several conference participants are now planning to get more involved in our DuPage Young Onset Parkinson's Support GroupOthers expressed interest in starting young onset groups in their area. “Overall, I think this will help younger people and their family members create a greater sense of community,” Julie says.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

  4. BulletFive prominent neurologists took turns at the podium, speaking about different topics related to Parkinson’s disease.

The day also included two 15-minute exercise breaks lead by certified instructors, Christine Cornell and Megan Simmons. The two got the room on their feet and moving with examples from Dance for Parkinson’s and Delay the Disease.  Neurologist Oliver Sacks says, that music gives people with Parkinson’s the “tempo, rhythm and organized time they lack.” (Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain)

Thanks to our sponsors for generously
supporting Symposium 2012. We could not have done it without you.






Body Werks Physical Therapy

BrightStar HealthCare                                                     


In Step Mobility                                                                          

Residential Home Health


Parkinson’s Disease Research Society                                                                                


    Symposium chalks up several “firsts,”

    features five prominent neurologists,
    breaks historical attendance records

Five neurologists discuss all aspects of Parkinson’s disease

“This year’s Symposium was exceptionally good in that we had so many experts addressing a wide range of issues,” said Midwest Chapter President Maxine Dust. “There was something for everyone.”

Topics and presenters included:

What’s New in Parkinson’s Medications and Therapies

Dr. Michael Rezak, MD, PhD.,Director, Movement Disorders Center, Neurosciences Institute, Central DuPage HospitalWinfield, IL; Medical Director, APDA Midwest Chapter, Illinois/Northern Indiana Information and Referral Center; and National Young Onset Center

Non-Motor Symptoms in PD

Dr. Theresa J. Zesiewicz, Professor of Neurology, University of South Florida

It Takes Two to Tango: Developing Long-Term Doctor-Patient Relationships

Cynthia Comella MD, Professor, Neurological Sciences RUSH University Medical Center in Chicago, and Sheryl Jedlinski, Vice-President of the APDA Midwest Chapter Board, co-founder of, and a patient advocate

Parkinson’s Disease Research
University  of Chicago:
From Mice to Men, From Genes to Brains

Dr. Un Jung Kang, MD, University of Chicago

“I’m too tired to exercise!”
(Sleep and exercise in PD)

Martha Trieschmann McGraw,
Movement Disorders Specialist,

Central DuPage Hospital

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Click here for videos of the above presentations.

Thanks to the University of Chicago APDA Center for Advanced Research for making these videos possible!