Annual Parkinson’s symposium to be held in Sarasota on Jan. 23

Event scheduled at the Sarasota Memorial Institute for Advanced Medicine

Sarasota Memorial Hospital's Institute for Advanced Medicine is on Rand Boulevard. Photo from the SMH website
Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s Institute for Advanced Medicine is on Rand Boulevard. Photo from the SMH website

On Jan. 23, two of Florida’s most respected neuroscience experts will be in Sarasota to share the latest research and findings on Parkinson’s disease and its treatment, the Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s and Sarasota Memorial Health Care System have announced.

The annual Parkinson’s symposium in Sarasota, which the two entities host, has been recognized as one of the largest in North America, with more than 500 Parkinson’s patients and healthcare professionals from as far away as Ontario and New York routinely attending it, a news release says.

The event will begin with registration and a continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m. The program will run from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Sarasota Memorial Institute for Advanced Medicine, located at 5880 Rand Blvd. in Sarasota. The cost is $25, the release adds. To register, visit

Early registration is encouraged, the release notes, and scholarships are available. Valet parking will be provided. For more information, contact 926-6413.

This year’s speakers will be Dr. Kenneth Vives, a neurosurgeon at Sarasota Spine Specialists and a former faculty member at the Yale School of Medicine; and Dr. Dean Sutherland of the Southeastern Center for Parkinson Disease, who is the medical director of Neuro Challenge Foundation, the release continues.

“Our annual symposium provides an interactive venue for people who work with or are affected by Parkinson’s disease to come together and discuss the latest developments in Parkinson’s disease treatment,” says Richard Williams, president of the Neuro Challenge Foundation Board of Directors, in the release.

Parkinson’s usually affects people over the age of 65, the release explains. “It is of particular concern in Sarasota County, where more than 33 percent of [county] residents are 65 or older.” The release adds, “Indeed, it is estimated that more than 9,000 Sarasota County residents are affected by Parkinson’s disease and that number is expected to increase as the population ages and more Americans take up residence on the Gulf Coast.”

Founded by Doreen Sutherland, the Neuro Challenge Foundation offers a Care Advisor program that provides free guidance to Parkinson’s disease patients, the release notes. The Foundation receives no government funding or insurance compensation, the release points out.