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Boehringer Ingelheim and National Parkinson Foundation introduce Planning Your Course, an educational program for people newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease

With the help of pro golfer Cherie Zaun, the program aims to empower and educate people with Parkinson’s disease

RIDGEFIELD, Conn., Dec. 12, 2006 – People newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease now have valuable information available at their fingertips, with a new program called Planning Your Course. Professional golfer Cherie Zaun, diagnosed with the condition in 2003, has collaborated with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) to develop Planning Your Course, a patient education program specifically designed for people newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Today, more than a million Americans have the disease, and approximately 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.1

Planning Your Course is part of the ongoing commitment from Boehringer Ingelheim to providing people with Parkinson’s disease, and their caregivers, the tools they need to better understand and manage this chronic condition. Available free of charge via www.planningyourcourse.com, an informational booklet and DVD are central to this educational program. These materials include information on coping with the diagnosis, living well with Parkinson’s disease, support services, treatment options, as well as a glossary of terms and advice on how family and loved ones can help.

Ms. Zaun, who helped develop and is featured in Planning Your Course, hopes that hearing her story will help encourage and motivate people newly diagnosed with the disease to maintain a positive attitude and take control of their lives.

“When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, my family and I were determined to educate ourselves as much as possible, but trying to get information was overwhelming,” said Cherie Zaun. “I teamed up with Boehringer Ingelheim on Planning Your Course to provide other people with Parkinson’s with the facts they need in one comprehensive and easy-to-understand format.”

“We are proud to be part of this educational initiative,” said Ruth Hagestuen, RN, MA, National Parkinson Foundation Director of Field Services. “One of our primary goals is to ensure that people with Parkinson’s disease have the information they need to understand their condition. We applaud Cherie Zaun for speaking out about her experience with Parkinson’s disease and for encouraging patients to stay positive and remain physically active to help live well with this condition.”


About Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease affects approximately one percent of people over age 60, causing tremor, muscle rigidity, slowed motion, shuffling gait and a loss of facial expression. Approximately 15 percent of patients develop Parkinson’s disease before the age of 50. All of these effects vary from patient to patient, but worsen over time. Parkinson’s disease is the second most common chronic neurological disorder in older adults after Alzheimer’s.

National Parkinson Foundation
Founded in 1957 and headquartered in Miami, the National Parkinson Foundation’s dual mission is to find the cause of and cure for Parkinson disease and to improve the quality of life for those afflicted with the debilitating disease. NPF has invested over $100 million in the fulfillment of its mission and is dedicated to providing care, education and support services for those whose lives are affected by Parkinson. Currently, the centerpiece of NPF’s research, care and delivery system is its international network of 53 institutions worldwide that have achieved designation as NPF Centers of Excellence, Care Centers and Outreach Centers and through its 41 affiliated Chapters.

Boehringer Ingelheim
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation (Ridgefield, CT) and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies.

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 143 affiliates in 47 countries and approximately 37,500 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

In 2005, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of US $11.8 billion (9.5 billion euro) while spending approximately one-fifth of net sales in its largest business segment, Prescription Medicines, on research and development.

For more information, please visit http://us.boehringer-ingelheim.com.


CONTACT:
Mark Vincent
Public Relations
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Phone: 203-798-4412
Email: mvincent@rdg.boehringer-ingelheim.com

Anne Marie Kearns
Ketchum Public Relations
Phone: 646-935-4010
Email: annemarie.kearns@ketchum.com

References
1 “What is Parkinson’s Disease?” Parkinson’s Action Network About Parkinson’s http://www.parkinsonsaction.org/content/view/11/33

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