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New fellowship to boost Parkinson’s research

Thursday April 28, 2005

April 21, 2005(ABC News) - Tasmania’s research into Parkinson’s disease has been boosted by a new fellowship.

Worth almost $136,000, the research fellowship is funded by the family of Bevis Thomas, the Tasmanian businessman who died from Parkinson’s in 1991.

The Royal Hobart Hospital’s Research Foundation has awarded the fellowship to Dr Tracey Dickson, who will conduct research into the disease over the next two years.

Tony Reidy, from the research foundation, says the study into Parkinson’s will be held in conjunction with other work being done on the disease.

"The research itself will be linked to both national and international effort on the cure and treatment of Parkinson’s... this is the way research is done these ," he said.

Dr Dickson says her work will centre on the regenerative process of nerve cells in the brain and is the first of its type in Australia.

"It could be extremely groundbreaking," she said.

"A lot of people across the world of course are working on Parkinson’s disease and everybody’s trying to find a cure but this is a unique angle that we’re taking to try and make our contribution to the global effort."

Tasmania has the highest rate of Parkinson’s disease in people over 65 in any state.