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Will you sponsor a worm like dave?

C elegans worm

What on earth have worms got to do with Parkinson’s? Well, Dave’s not just any worm. He’s a C. elegans worm, and he’s actually just a millimetre long. Despite being a tiny invertebrate, Dave has 302 nerve cells, eight of which are just like the ones in the brain affected by Parkinson’s. And by studying these cells, scientists hope to learn more about Parkinson’s and how it develops.

You could be looking at the cure

What we already know is that people with Parkinson's don't have enough of a chemical called dopamine. That’s because the nerve cells that produce it, in the part of the brain called the substantia nigra, have died. What we still need to find out is exactly why these cells die – and how to prevent it from happening.

Dr Anton Gartner

Dave is our roving researcher and visits labs all over the UK to check out the latest in Parkinson’s research. Whenever there’s research news to report he’s there to get the story and report back to you, be it an exciting development in stem cell research or an existing drug that could be a new treatment for Parkinson’s.

Working science team

And because Dave loves research so much, he also travels the country interviewing the scientists who carry out research for Parkinson’s UK. In between all this, he writes his regular ‘Dave Explains’ blogs from the comfort of his petri dish. These are an easy to understand guide to the basics of research such as clinical trials, which you can find on his Facebook page.

To be more specific, we need YOUR help.

By sponsoring a worm like Dave for £5 a month (that's just 17p a day), you can help fund the research projects with the most chance of delivering real breakthroughs in the search for a Parkinson's cure.

Will you sponsor a worm like dave for £5 a month – and help fund vital research into Parkinson's?

More Info

What do you know about Parkinson's?


Every hour of every day, someone in the UK is told they have Parkinson's. It's time we found a cure – please sponsor a worm like Dave and help fund crucial Parkinson's research.

Science £70 Million

So far Parkinson’s UK has invested over £70million in massively groundbreaking Parkinson’s research to bring us closer to a cure. Like to help? Awesome – just sponsor a worm like me!

£250 a day funding

It costs £250 to fund a day of research. We’re backing the best and brightest minds (these guys are seriously awesome) in loads of amazing research projects to find the causes of Parkinson’s, develop better treatments and, one day, nail the cure.

100% gift

100% of your Dave sponsorship goes straight to unlocking scientific discoveries that could lead to new treatments for Parkinson’s – which we want to make available in years rather than decades. We only fund the most promising projects, so you really will be helping to find the big breakthroughs we need.

fun stuff

What will you get when you sponsor a worm like Dave

Welcome Pack

Dave wants you to know how important your support is to him, so he’ll be sending you a welcome pack showing you the amazing difference you’re making in the fight against Parkinson’s.

Regular email updates

You’ll get exclusive feedback on the research you’re funding, so you know how you’re helping to make breakthroughs as soon as they happen. Dave likes to keep you in the know.

Free Dave the worm stuff

Dave has something really awesome for people who sponsor him – a Dave the Worm cuddly toy! He chose it to help you raise awareness of our search for better treatments and a cure. Dave will send you yours within your first few months as a sponsor. It would be great if you could tweet Dave (@ParkinsonsWorm) to let him know how you and your Dave are getting along – and a selfie of you and your Dave would be fab!

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About Parkinson's

What is Parkinson's?
Parkinson's is a progressive neurological condition. Parkinson's symptoms occur when the brain doesn't get enough of a chemical called dopamine – because the cells that produce dopamine have died. However, we still don't yet know why this happens. You can help us learn more about Parkinson's and be part of the cure – if you sponsor a worm like Dave.

Find out more about Parkinson's

What are the signs and symptoms of Parkinson's?
Parkinson's affects everyone differently, but the main symptoms are tremor, stiffness and slow movement. It can also cause other problems such as tiredness, pain, depression and constipation, which can badly affect a person's everyday life. These symptoms get progressively worse over time. You can help stop Parkinson's in its tracks by teaming up with Dave.

The signs and symptoms of Parkinson's

How does Parkinson's progress?
For the majority of people with Parkinson's, symptoms progress slowly, although everyone is different. While there are drug treatments that can ease the symptoms as they become debilitating, we are still looking for a cure. For £5 a month, you can help fund research into finding it.

How Parkinson's progresses

Can Parkinson's affect younger people?
While the majority of people diagnosed with Parkinson's are over the age of 50, it's estimated that one in every 20 people diagnosed will be under the age of 40. Parkinson's can cause enormous financial and emotional challenges for people who are still in work, and supporting children or teenagers. Please help give hope to everyone affected by Parkinson's – sponsor a worm like Dave today.

Everyday life with Parkinson's

If I'm diagnosed with Parkinson's,
how will it affect me?

The symptoms of Parkinson's vary from person to person. But whatever you're going through, it's important to remember that you don't have to face it alone. You can always get help from our UK-wide team of Parkinson’s Advisors, or feel free to call our helpline on 0808 800 0303. Ongoing research means that new treatments are being worked on all the time – you can help to fund this research by joining Team Worm.

Parkinson's support and information

How will my gift help Parkinson’s research?
It’s a super awesome thing to do because you’ll be helping us find new, better treatments in years instead of decades.

Everything we do is driven by people with Parkinson’s. Now we’ve a radical new approach aimed at improving lives as soon as we possibly can. We’re investing in big ideas to speed things up and we have the best minds on the case.

Every new piece of the puzzle you help us to find takes us closer to developing treatments and getting them to the people who need them, faster. Which is why Team Worm really, really needs you!

Parkinson's research

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