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Smell, Sleep, and the Study that Changes Everything

The Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) was recently featured on ABC’s Good Morning America. In this segment, ABC’s correspondent Will Reeve sat down with Gary Rafaloff, Michael J. Fox Foundation Patient Council member, who after years of sleep issues was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD). They discuss his experience living with REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) – unintentionally acting out dreams while asleep – and it’s connection to PD.

Although not everyone who experiences RBD will develop Parkinson’s, the segment explores common misconceptions and early signs of the disease with a special call-out to important research led by PPMI.

Loss of sense of smell can also be one of the earliest signs of Parkinson’s disease. Many people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) have long been familiar with this somewhat lesser-known and lesser-talked-about potential symptom. Smell loss can happen at any time in PD, from years before diagnosis through decades into life with the disease.

You can join a research study sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation looking at smell loss and brain disease. If you are at least 60 years old, live in the United States or Canada and have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you are eligible for the PPMI smell test. Requesting a smell test takes less than 5 minutes.

THE STUDY THAT COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING PPMI is on a mission to understand who is at risk for Parkinson’s – the world’s second most common brain disease – in order to protect everyone from the disease. The more people who join PPMI and share health data online, the faster we can change everything about how brain diseases like Parkinson’s are diagnosed, treated, and ultimately prevented. Get Started:



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