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REF NO.: 262

SUBJECT: Lecture on stem cells and current research

DATE: March 21

Note to editors:

On Wednesday, April 6, 2005, the ALS and Parkinson Societies will sponsor a public lecture by Dr. Dale Corbett entitled Can Stem Cells be Used to Repair the Damaged Brain? Dr.Corbett is a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Stroke and Neuroplasticity and professor of neurosciences in the Division of Basic Medical Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University.

This free public lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in room SN-2109 of the Science Building on Memorial University’s St. John’s campus. Free parking is available in Lot 15 which can be accessed from Russell Road off Elizabeth Avenue. Dr.Corbett will be available for media interviews beginning the week of March 28.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neuromuscular disease which causes the voluntary muscles (including those used to swallow and breathe) to weaken and become immobile. There are approximately 3,000 Canadians living with ALS. Parkinson's Disease is progressive neurodegenerative disease which affects body movement (including balance difficulties). Today in Canada, there are approximately 100,000 people living with Parkinson's. While drugs alleviate some of the symptoms, they do not halt the progression of these diseases.

The ALS and Parkinson Societies have supported funding to research the cause and cure of ALS and Parkinson’s for several decades. Over the last couple of years, stem cell research has been a cause for much hope by the people who live with these diseases. Stem cell research holds potential opportunities for progress in both drug design and testing, and in the search for the cause and cure of ALS and Parkinson’s.

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For further information contact Patricia Morrissey, executive director, Parkinson Society NL, 709-754-4428 or


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