UAMS to Hold Free Parkinson’s Forum

By Yavonda Chase

Read about the 2017 Parkinson’s Symposium on Sunday, April 2

LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is holding the second annual Parkinson’s Forum on April 10, 2016, featuring experts in the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s disease and Parkinson’s plus syndromes.

The free event will be held 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Fred W. Smith Auditorium on the 12th floor of the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute at 501 Jack Stephens Drive. Parking is available in Parking Deck 3 at the corner of Cedar Street and Capitol Avenue.

The event will be broadcast live to Washington Regional Clinic for Senior Health in Fayetteville. For more information about the forum, call 501-686-5270.

The forum is open to the community including patients with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, progressive supranuclear palsy or related diseases; patient caregivers; medical professionals; and anyone else interested in learning more about movement disorders and their treatments.

“Thousands of Arkansans are affected by movement disorders like Parkinson’s and progressive supranuclear palsy. Some may know that there is something wrong, but may not be aware of their diagnosis,” said Erika Petersen, M.D., director of functional and restorative neurosurgery. “We launched this event, which takes place during Parkinson’s Awareness Month, to support patients with movement disorders and their loved ones as they learn more about these diseases and the resources and research efforts available to address them.”

Parkinson’s disease occurs when the brain doesn’t produce enough dopamine, a chemical that enables the nerve cells in the brain to communicate. This lack of dopamine affects the body’s ability to control its movements, which can lead to such symptoms as shaking and stiffness. An estimated 500,000 people in the United States are affected by the disease.

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report recognized UAMS Medical Center as a Best Hospital for 2021-22; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide for the third year; and named five areas as high performing — colon cancer surgery, diabetes, hip replacement, knee replacement and stroke. Forbes magazine ranked UAMS as seventh in the nation on its Best Employers for Diversity list. UAMS also ranked in the top 30% nationwide on Forbes’ Best Employers for Women list and was the only Arkansas employer included. UAMS has 2,876 students, 898 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.