Progress and Prospects in Parkinson's Research/Researching Parkinson's
To start with this page will say the obvious: that there is a huge number of scientists doing research into Parkinson's throughout the world. With an aging population the number of people with age-linked diseases such as Parkinson's will inevitably increase. Governments and organisations have therefore realised that, quite apart from the human distress caused by this devastating disease, there could be immense economic and social costs if a cure or radically better treatments are not developed. Hence the substantial sums raised and spent on Parkinson's research today.
Solving the problem of Parkinson's and other neurological diseases has not proved to be easy. As a consequence, the armories of innumerable disciplines have been recruited in the quest: pharmacology, pathology, basic biochemistry, neuroscience, genetics, epidemiology, radiology, regenerative medicine including the use of stem cells and even systems biology and physiotherapy.
Patients groups have been encouraged to participate in the development of strategies for making Parkinson's research more effective and to expedite the eventual attainment of a cure and efficacious preventative measures. Non-governmental organisations have arisen in various parts of the world to raise more money for research and to champion strategy development on behalf of those whose lives are affected by this chronic condition.
The scientific community has therefore discovered that there are many people who are intensely interested in what they are doing and what they are achieving. They cannot keep what they do in laboratories and through clinical or epidemiological studies hidden within scientific papers and specialist conferences. There is a demand for more knowledge from the ultimate beneficiaries of their work. This demand is demonstrated by the amazing success of meetings such as the World Parkinson Congress and other meetings where researchers address ordinary people. The encouraging thing is that researchers respond enthusiastically to this contact with lay people and it could be said that a true partnership is developing.
Many people affected by Parkinson's are indeed interested in learning more about the progress being made in this field which constantly uncovers more complexity. This wikiversity learning project is thus aimed at helping people in Researching the Research.
This page is being developed
How the non-specialist can systematically find out information about research both from the scientific literature and other sources and to organise it so that it can be easily referenced.
What should be in your toolbox? 
More on topical areas of research?
Animal models will feature prominently and their shortcomings could be discussed in subpages.
The use of biological samples taken from patients is also an important recent development including the use of induced pluripotent cells (iPD cells) grown from tissue samples.
- See "Getting information from the internet – and organising it!", from SPRING Times 60 July 2011, page 17