Skip to main content
Foundation Updates

Michael J. Fox and Debi Brooks Publish Their 2024 Parkinson's Research Predictions in WIRED World Magazine

Photo credit: The WIRED World In 2024 Issue (December 2023)

As the year's final days are upon us, are you already thinking about what’s to come in 2024? You’re not alone. Our intrepid founder and Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) Co-founder and CEO Debi Brooks offer their perspective on the next chapter in Parkinson’s disease (PD) research in WIRED World Magazine’s December 2023 “Future of Predictions” issue, which features voices from world-renowned business leaders, tech moguls, artists, researchers, philanthropists and much more.

In their prediction piece titled, “Passing the Sniff Test for Brain Disease,” Michael and Debi share their thoughts on the new biological era of PD made possible by the discovery of the new biomarker in early 2023, the so-called alpha-synuclein seeding amplification assay.

The tool, validated by MJFF’s landmark brain health study, the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), can detect pathology in spinal fluid not only of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but also in individuals who have not yet been diagnosed or shown clinical symptoms of the disease, but are at a high risk of developing it. 

Interestingly, scientists have learned that loss of sense of smell may be one of the most important signals of Parkinson’s risk.

In their piece, Michael and Debi share the possibility that doctors may be able to screen for Parkinson’s — beginning with a simple test for smell loss — in the near future as scientists begin to learn more about the biomarker in combination with existing tools to determine risk and identify individuals who have the disease before symptoms emerge.

As Michael and Debi write: “In 2024, we will begin to see a sea change in the possibilities around screening for and predicting PD and, very possibly, other diseases of aging.”

Read Michael and Debi’s prediction here or pick up a full copy at your local newsstand.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s landmark study is exploring the link between smell loss and brain disease. If you’re age 60 and up without Parkinson’s, you can contribute to this important research. Request your free scratch-and-sniff test today.

We use cookies to ensure that you get the best experience. By continuing to use this website, you indicate that you have read our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.