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Parkinson’s Unity Walk Announces the Election of Two New Board Members

Helaine Isaacs
Parkinson’s Unity Walk
Kingston, N.J., August 9, 2011 – The Parkinson’s Unity Walk is pleased to announce two new members to its Board of Directors, each bringing their own expertise – Dr. J. William Langston and James J. McNasby.

Dr. J. William Langston is the Scientific Director, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the Parkinson’s Institute in Sunnyvale, CA. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Medicine, he served as faculty member at Stanford University Medical School and Chairman of Neurology at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, CA before founding The Parkinson’s Institute.

Dr. Langston gained national and international recognition in the 1980s for the discovery of the link between a tainted “synthetic heroin” and parkinsonism, which contained a substance known as MTPT, which is selectively toxic to the same nerve cells in the brain that die in Parkinson’s disease. The discovery of the biologic effects of this compound led to a renaissance of the basic and clinical research in Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Langston’s current research interests include the study of mechanisms of neuronal degeneration, the etiology of Parkinson’s disease, the development of new strategies to slow or halt disease progression, and ways to identify the disease in its earliest “pre-motor” stages. He is the founding member and continues to serve on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Jim McNasby has been General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Marsh, Inc. -- Marsh & McLennan Companies insurance brokerage and risk advisory subsidiary -- since 2007. Before joining Marsh, Mr. McNasby was the Chief Counsel for Kraft Foods North American business and, prior to that, held various positions in the Legal, Compliance and Corporate & Government Affairs departments of the Kraft/Altria Group in the U.S. and in Europe. He began practicing law at Davis Polk & Wardwell and is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Harvard Law School.

Mr. McNasby was diagnosed with Early Onset Parkinson’s disease in 2000 at the age of 31. He has been a participant in the Parkinson’s Unity Walk since 2007 as Team Captain of Team McMoss. Team McMoss is the Walk’s highest fundraising team for the second year in a row.

The Parkinson’s Unity Walk, held each April in New York’s Central Park, is the largest grassroots fundraiser for Parkinson’s disease research in the country. Over the last seventeen years, the Walk has grown from 200 participants raising $16,000 to more than 10,000 participants, raising $1.5M this year and more than $14M since it was first held in 1994. One hundred percent of individual donations go directly to Parkinson’s research, benefiting seven major US Parkinson’s foundations.

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