Sigmund Rosen, M.D., Supports Parkinson's Research
Parkinson’s disease affects more than 1.5 million people in the United States annually, with at least 40,000 new cases diagnosed each year. The chronic and progressive neurological condition is the second most common neurodegenerative aging disorder, after Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Sigmund Rosen wants to help change these devastating statistics through the Sigmund Rosen, M.D., Parkinson’s Disease Research Fund in the Department of Neurology. The fund will help support the department’s research efforts in Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders.
“I am extremely grateful for the generous support of Dr. Rosen and his commitment to our research efforts in Parkinson’s disease,” says Ray Watts, M.D., chair of the Department of Neurology and director of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Clinical Research Program (also see “Did You Know?”). “It is always a great honor to receive support from a colleague who understands the importance of research and the hope it offers for future treatments and cures for diseases such as Parkinson’s.”
Rosen practiced medicine for more than 50 years in the field of hematology and oncology in Miami, where he had a private practice and worked at the Veterans Health Administration. He enjoyed both teaching and clinical research. He published his last paper around 1990—about the time he retired. Rosen and his wife, Elaine, relocated to Birmingham in 2005.
“It is said that money is the mother’s milk of research,” Dr. Rosen says. “I am not one to disagree with that observation of truth. Dr. Ray Watts knows this very well. He has been doing research in Parkinson’s disease for many years.”
Parkinson’s occurs when neurons in a certain part of the brain die or become impaired. Normally, these cells produce a vital chemical known as dopamine, which allows smooth, coordinated function of the body’s muscles and movement. When approximately 60 percent of the dopamine-producing cells are damaged, the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear.
“I personally have Parkinson’s disease,” Dr. Rosen adds, “and I count it as a blessing to have the privilege of supporting Dr. Watts. We are very close to the answer and will be there when a substitute for L-Dopa has been found. I hope that many people will be moved to help find the answer.”