UAMS Offers Virtual Parkinson’s Symposium on April 11

By Linda Satter

The Sunday event will run from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and is open to Parkinson’s patients, their caregivers and family members, clinicians and anyone else interested in learning about the disease, treatment options, and research initiatives.

“It’s an opportunity to learn about advances in Parkinson’s disease including treatments and new research, and to connect with our UAMS program,” said Christian Pedroza Portillo, project specialist in the College of Medicine’s Department of Neurosurgery.

The free event is usually held in person, giving attendees a chance to pick up written information and to talk with providers and each other. It attracted about 200 people from across Arkansas and neighboring states in 2019, but last year, when 250 participants were expected, it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since it will be virtual this year, we are hoping our reach will be even bigger,” Portillo said. The numbers have steadily climbed since 2015, when the new program attracted 30 people.

The virtual nature of this year’s event will reduce its time frame from four hours to an hour and a half, though plenty of information will still be offered. Segments will focus on the direction of future treatments, digital health offerings, intimacy, and cognitive rehabilitation and stimulation. Also, a patient will share ways of managing the disease, and a panel of experts will discuss frequently asked questions.

Participants will be able to ask questions through an online chat function.

The symposium, developed with the help of occupational and physical therapists, is an outgrowth of UAMS’ multi-disciplinary approach to movement disorders through a program that was started up a decade ago by Erika Petersen, M.D., a neurosurgeon and College of Medicine professor. The Movement Disorders Clinic brings neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, physical therapists, researchers, speech-language pathologists and other experts under one roof.

To register for the meeting or learn more about continuing education credits, please visit The Zoom link will be emailed to registrants the week of the event.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight 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, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 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, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.