Protecting the future of research after coronavirus (COVID-19)

Medical research charities have come together and are asking the government to act now and set up a fund to ensure that the future of charity-funded research is protected.

Parkinson’s didn’t stop during the coronavirus crisis, and neither did we.

We’re continuing to support people with Parkinson's and their families, friends and carers in the ways they need, right now. And we’ve been working hard to ensure that our research projects keep driving on in the search for new life-changing treatments.

During the pandemic, some of our biggest research projects have continued. However, many of the projects we fund at universities and hospitals were temporarily paused. This means inevitable delays to some of our research.

But now, labs are reopening and there are guidelines in place to restart clinical trials. So, we’re driving forward progress towards better treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s. We’re looking beyond the pandemic, restarting research that was on hold, and chasing down a cure.

Less money to invest in research

At the moment it is unclear what the long term impact of this pandemic will be.

Director of Research at Parkinson’s UK, Dr Arthur Roach, said: 

“The current situation has led to some inevitable delays to a portion of the projects that we fund. So, while some research continues, we are also looking to restart research that’s been on hold.”

Financial implications of the pandemic will have an impact on future research if action isn’t taken. Medical research charities have seen a 38% reduction in donations on average. This means less money to invest in research further down the line.

This impacts the future of research and the people that these charities support, including those living with Parkinson’s. This is why the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) have come together to ask the government to act now and set up a fund to ensure that the future of charity-funded research is protected.

“The future starts today”

“Future research will be impacted if we don’t continue to raise vital funds,” Arthur added. “The future starts today. We must keep our foot on the accelerator to drive forward our search for better treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s.”

We have seen incredible generosity from our supporters during the crisis, not just through our Emergency Appeal. But, there is still a lot of uncertainty about future fundraising.

At the moment we are protecting our 2020 research budget as much of the planned spend has already been promised to various projects. We will use our reserves to make up the shortfall in income, and ensure that ongoing research isn’t affected, but this is not a sustainable long-term solution.

On the brink of so many potential breakthroughs, we cannot afford to slow down now: we need donations to continue to ensure Parkinson’s research keeps driving towards better treatments.

Read more in Arthur’s blog

Arthur looks in-depth at the impact of coronavirus on research funded by Parkinson’s UK. And how the charity is driving forward progress towards better treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s during the coronavirus pandemic.