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WPC Legacy

The WPC legacy has been growing over the years and is something we pride ourselves on as we move forward. Our legacy is not just about what happens at each meeting, but what happens in the build-up to, during, and after the meeting. It's also not just about the WPC, it's about the community we work in and engage with, starting with the host city and host country. We want to ensure that the people living with Parkinson's in the city where we host the meeting are left in a better place than when we arrived. We do this by raising awareness and understanding about Parkinson's.

WPC has inspired launch new research projects, write articles and books, host events, and design programs that educate others about Parkinson's. Sometimes the impact is hard to capture, because it’s a slow evolution. We do our best to highlight stories of impact in our
Working Parkinson Connections section of the WPC Blog.


How did the WPC impact you?

If you attended and went on to do something amazing, please tell us about it by email at . We’d like to hear your story and maybe even tell it in our ‘Working Parkinson Connections” blog page.

Your work and story may inspire others.

WPC 2017

2017 Outcome
Alison Williams, Ken Bowler & Bill Wright

Adventures with Parkinson’s: empowering Parkinson’s patients to become active partners in research and treatment

“We set out the what, how and why of moving individually and as a community, from being passive recipients of our healthcare, to being instead active collaborators involved in partnership
with clinicians and researchers.”


WPC 2010

WPC 2010 Outcome
Dr. Marie-Francoise Chesselet (USA)

After Dr. Chesselet's lecture on animal models at the WPC 2010, the scouting editor of Lancet Neurology was so impressed that they commissioned her to author a review. Read it at the Lancet Neurology website.

"It was an extraordinary opportunity for us!" Not only was it great for Dr. Chesselet but it was also very helpful for her co-author Franzisca Ritcher, who now has her own lab in Germany. 

Dr. Chesselet explains "it would not have happened with the WPC."

WPC 2010 Outcome
Dr. Lucille Leader (UK)

Parkinson's Disease Top Tips to Optimize Function
Dr. Lucille Leader and Dr. Geoffrey Leader

Dr. Lucille Leader was a speaker at the WPC 2010.

Lucille and Geoffrey Leader have written six books on integrated care in PD but "Parkinson's Disease Top Tips to Optimize Function" came out of the WPC 2010! The authors were inspired by the opportunities the congress provided for the Parkinson's community to have scientifically and biochemically sound but "user-friendly' information.

"This book is a MUST for people with Parkinson’s, their partners and caregivers to confidently make informed choices within the constraints of the illness."

WPC 2010 Outcome
Dr. Walter Maetzler (Germany) & Tom Isaacs/The Cure Parkinson's Trust (UK)

The idea for the SENSE-PARK project was born when Dr. Walter Maetzler heard Tom Issac's talk at the WPC 2010. Tom, Founder of the UK-based Cure Parkinson's Trust, gave a morning plenary talk that focused on the need to increase the patients' self-awareness, to increase motivation of the patient, and finally to overcome disease-caused limitations, and to increase efficiency of patient-doctor interaction.

A few weeks after the congress, Dr. Maetzler, who is based in Germany, contacted The Cure Parkinson's Trust and Tom to ask them if they were interested in collaborated along with other scientific and industrial partners to produce a FP7 project proposal. The aim for the project is develop a Parkinson patient-friendly interface for equipment at home that helps the patients.

The proposal was accepted by the European Union and SENSE-PARK was started in October 2011. Their proposal to the European Union earned them a 2.4 million Euro grant to launch the project! Learn more about this ground-breaking project here.

WPC 2010 Outcome
Carl Hernz (US)

While working on his video submission for the WPC 2010 Video Competition, Carl Hernz made a historical discovery of enormous significance. Carl discovered that the 1925 silent classic The Phantom of the Opera was actually filmed in 3D. Despite suffering the challenges of Parkinson's, he was able to reconstruct the film and return it to the way it was originally captured on film. News of his discovery is currently traveling the globe and his discovery is now the talk of the world's top 3D specialists, academics and filmmakers.

A pristine hi-def digital restoration is in production, and Carl hopes to use the first cinematic showings of it when it is finished to help raise funds for Parkinson's research and organizations.


WPC 2006

2006 Outcome
Heather MacTavish (US)

Songs, Science & Spirit

After the closing ceremonies of the World Parkinson Congress 2006, Heather MacTavish handed a draft of her book Essay to Essence to Michael J. Fox for him to autograph. "The concept of my draft was clear. I would write a book using stories and songs to explain science. It was to be a primer, required reading for everyone who works with, or volunteers at health care facilities. I had over 50 years of experience, and I had something to say."

She still has Michael’s autograph, but she said that draft lived through a thousand lifetimes, to emerge as Songs, Science & Spirit. Heather's five year journey of discovery was influenced primarily by the WPC 2006 and what her pre-2006 book draft was missing was what she experienced at the Congress – spirit ...and not just any spirit.

Heather says of her memories from the WPC 2006, "the contributing scientists and care practitioners who attended the Congress had not closed their doors to share information with their peers only. I found myself swept into a diverse international community of individuals working in concert to create an inspirational platform that encouraged cross-pollination."

Science, art, and spirit were acknowledged full partners. Songs, Science & Spirit became an offshoot of this fertile marriage, joining others worldwide who emerged from the WPC to make extraordinary contributions in the fields of research, teaching, fund-raising, and the arts.

Learn more about Heather and her book at

WPC 2006 Outcome
Dr. Lisette K. Bunking-Perry (US) & Gwyn M. Vernon (US)

Comprehensive Nursing Care for Parkinson's Disease

Lisette K. Bunting-Perry, PhD, MScN, RN (Editor)
Gwyn M. Vernon, MScN, CRNP (Editor)

The idea for this book took hold at the WPC 2006. Dr. Lisette Bunting-Perry and Ms. Gwyn Vernon attended the WPC with years of combined experience working with people with Parkinson's. At the WPC they met with and were inspired by a number of other nurses in the field and put together a team of internationally renowned clinicians to provide a truly comprehensive review of the information every nurse should know to care for people with Parkinson's.

Comprehensive Nursing Care for Parkinson's Disease covers what is presently known about the disease and current evidence-based standards of care, including management through deep brain stimulation, palliative care for frail older adults with Parkinson's, medication management, non-motor complications and psychosocial issues, and complementary and alternative approaches.

"This is a wonderful resource for nurses and other healthcare professionals providing care for patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). This unique book provides readers with access to multiple experts in the field and a wide variety of pertinent topics in the care of patients with PD. This is an excellent addition to the field and will be extremely useful for interdisciplinary teams caring for these patients." - Doody's Book Reviews


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