The 6th Annual Parkinson’s Conference to be Held July 22

BATON ROUGE – As many as a million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease, a chronic and progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. This disease is incurable but treatment options can help manage symptoms, which include tremors and impaired balance and coordination.

The 2017 Louisiana Parkinson’s Conference, held Saturday, July 22, at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, will offer in-depth presentations while disseminating information about combating Parkinson’s disease with multiple successful strategies and involve motivational speakers.

The conference, taking place in the C.B. Pennington Jr. Building – Main Hall is free and open to the public, but attendees should register to reserve a seat.

Two instructors from the New Orleans Ballet Association will lead participants in movement exercises, as recent studies indicate that dance may be an effective alternative to traditional exercise for addressing impaired balance and walking and reduced quality of life to individuals with Parkinson’s. 

Anticipated attendance includes more than 200 patients, community leaders, doctors and researchers in the field. Due to the generosity and involvement of event partners and exhibitors, attendees will enjoy dynamic presentations and an engaging exhibitor fair.

Featured speakers:

  • Gerald Calegan II, The NeuroMedical Center
  • Axi Walker, The Michael J. Fox Foundation
  • Reverend Robin McCullough-Bade
  • Steve Kragthorpe, former football player, LSU’s football program administrative assistant and living with Parkinson’s

Available for media interviews:

  • Randy LeBlanc, committee chair, Movers & Shakers Parkinson's Support Group
  • Benjamin “BJ” Bement, The Michael J. Fox Foundation and Louisiana Walks for Parkinson’s
  • Gerald J Calegan II, MD, neurologist, The NeuroMedical Center. Specializes in all neurological disorders: movement disorders including Parkinson’s Disease, tremors and dystonia.
  • Donald Ingram, Pennington Biomedical Research Center
  • Michelle Lane, The Michael J. Fox Foundation and Louisiana Walks for Parkinson’s; living with Parkinson’s
  • Susan Sapir-Fields, The Michael J. Fox Foundation and Louisiana Walks for Parkinson's
  • Jan M. Hondzinski, an associate professor in LSU’s School of Kinesiology. Her research interests involve the study of motor control and sensorimotor integration in tasks requiring whole body movements and include the altered control resulting from neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s.


Contact Mary Woods
LSU College of Human Sciences & Education


Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations