Pictured: The Movement Disorders Clinic and Pacific Parkinson’s Research Centre team at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health on World Parkinson’s Day in 2018. Image source: Vancouver Coastal Health.

There is an incredible community of people at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health (DMCBH) who often work together quietly to pull together community events highlighting brain research and care. On April 11, a team of clinic and research staff from Movement Disorders Clinic (MDC) and the Pacific Parkinson’s Research Centre (PPRC) will host their fifth annual World Parkinson’s Day event to raise awareness about the experience of those living with Parkinson’s disease (PD), and to raise money in support of PD-related charities and outreach programs.

“We believe it is important to raise awareness about PD among the general public,” said Elaine Book, event organizer and a social worker with the Movement Disorders Clinic. “It’s also important help people live well with PD, to get resources into the hands of people who need it, so on World Parkinson’s Day we try to be where patients are, and to provide opportunities to talk with clinic staff and learn about current studies and clinical trials.”

Last year, the MDC and PPRC team hosted a bake sale while staff from the clinic interacted with passersby in the lobby of DMCBH. The group has used funds raised through activities such as these to purchase self-support books for people living with PD, to assist members of the PD community in attending events such as the World Parkinson’s Congress, and to purchase supermarket gift cards in order to fill financial gaps for people with PD struggling to make ends meet. This year, the group intends to scale up its activities.

“This year we’re highlighting the relationship between art and PD,” explained Book. “We’re hosting an art walk and raffle for art created by people with PD, as well as a painting demo and a raffle for art classes for people with PD.”

The team is also working to include an interactive, patient-focused music component. Clinician-scientists at DMCBH have found that music lowers stress and decreases psychiatric symptoms associated with neurodegenerative disease; a new Brain Wellness Initiative (PI: Dr. Silke Cresswell) is looking at the role of music, in addition to other lifestyle factors, in enhancing overall wellbeing in people undergoing medical treatment.

Representatives from the Parkinson’s Society of British Columbia will also be in attendance.

“We’d love to see the whole DMCBH community come out in support of our World Parkinson’s Day activities, and to help us in our fundraising activities,” said Book. “We’re really proud of what we have managed to accomplish through our fundraisers in the past; there’s also really wonderful teamwork at play, as we get to see people who might not otherwise cross paths at DMCBH come together for people with PD.”

Event details

Join us as we recognize World Parkinson’s Day in the first floor atrium of DMCBH on April 11.

  • The bake sale and PD info booth will run from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Join in the art activities from 11:00 to noon, or pop in to enjoy the music activities from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
  • Stay for the raffle – the draw will take place at 2:00 p.m.

For more information on how you can participate or support outreach activities such as these, email elaine.book@vch.ca.