More brain donors needed despite successful campaign by Parkinson's Disease Society

Celebrity-supported campaign recruits more than twice as many people as planned

An award-winning communications campaign by the Parkinson's Disease Society has persuaded 2,332 people to pledge their brains to the society for research after they die.

The campaign, backed by actor Jane Asher and broadcasters Jeremy Paxman and John Stapleton, who have pledged their own brains, brings the number on the Parkinson's Brain Donor Register to more than 3,300.

But there is a need for yet more donors, according to the society – particularly younger people already living with Parkinson's, and men. One in 20 people diagnosed with the disease is under 40, and women outnumbered men among the new donors by two to one.

The society won the communications campaign award in the Third Sector Excellence Awards 2009. Within nine weeks of its launch in April, it had secured more than 1,200 new donors against a target of 1,000 by the end of the year.

Jane Asher, president of the society, said: "Our appeal for more brain donors this year has been hugely successful, but we still need more help.

"This distressing condition doesn't only affect older people – sadly, young people can also be diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's."

 

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