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Paul Ruby Foundation funds two studies on Parkinson’s

Published: Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

GENEVA  –The Paul Ruby Foundation was able to fund two proposals this year at Northwestern University’s Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center.

The foundation raised $100,000 from its sixth annual Concert for a Cure and Sub 5 Century Challenge. The foundation considered several grant proposals in October, ultimately choosing to fund $20,000 for Dr. Jerilyn Logemann’s research on the development and validation of a screening process for swallowing disorders in Parkinson’s patients.

The foundation also funded $80,000 for Dr. Rajeshar Awatramani’s research on assessing the function of a dopamine neuron subtype that is vulnerable in Parkinson’s disease.

Paul Ruby of Geneva, the general manager at the Herrington Inn & Spa in Geneva, began the foundation and concert fundraisers after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2006

Ruby said the studies will contribute significantly to finding a cure for the disorder. The foundation has raised more than $500,000 to support research for Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by tremors, impaired balance, stiffness and other symptoms. Although it’s not fatal, the disease progresses and affects quality of life. Information about the group is available online at www.paulrubyfoundation.org.

Previous funding has served as seed money for research programs that have received National Institutes of Health funding, and this year’s grant to Awatramani shows promise to receive NIH money, as well.

The foundation has actively participated in the process of choosing grant recipients since working with Northwestern.

Because the foundation has a direct say in the projects funded, it can see its funds and efforts at work.

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