To ALL it may concern
If you feel that this forum is "for the educated," I have to ask, "Educated in what way?" Back around 1998-99, I came here (formerly BrainTalk (BT) - which BTW still exists, only at another site). I was so faithful to BT. Rick, someone close to the originator of BrainTalk" is still scratching his head as to how the mass of us older posters ended up here.
Anyway, I was one of the last to "convert" from BT to NeuroTalk (NT). Why? Because the BT forums literally saved my life. I had lost my job under disconcerting conditions, and there was no one to talk with about it. I stumbled upon BT and poured my heart out. Surprising to me at the time, there were people there who had similar circumstances or some who just wanted to provide comfort and understanding. Then my friend, Paula (former queen of NT - may she rest in peace ) assured me that 95+% had moved to NeuroTalk ), I started posting here ( my profile says in 2006). But I left Braintalk kicking and screaming. I even talked back and forth with Dr.Houck (?), who is still trying to revive it. But BT's followers had already built an allegiance here. And Rick, in defense of "the SOB who owned" BrainTalk, he didn't desert us, he , like many of us, went through several crises connected with his efforts in providing BT along with a personal episode. The situation was enough to make him feel uncomfortable in returning, and although he no longer reads here, if anyone close to him sees this, please tell him that I understand and verymuch still care. Why? Because he saved my life - and I can never repay him enough for that.
My take on what you will find here is diversity, yet some compassionate people willing to help you, and there's probably not a thing you have experienced that someone else reading these forums has not. Then, there are those transplants from BT who know "what's next," and have a passion about trying to divert the fork in the road that leads to our future. I am in the latter group, but sometimes switch over to give a newbie, such as yourself, an opinion.
You may be asking what the passionate people are so driven about? We are driven to finding a cure! I know we may never eradicate Parkinson's,but we can certainly improve some of the therapies that will give us a better quality of life. And I and many others are convinced that much of the answer lies in allowing the patient, the PWP access to those making decisions about our future. We want to be part of a patient-centric team, concerned in improving QOL, not in finding a blockbuster drug or treatment.
I am busy outside of this forum doing such things, and our soon to be released book is the story behind this very thing. And folks, you would not believe who all lurks in these forums. I have been contacted by many of big pharma administrative decision makers, many private researchers, and many PWP, from those struggling to make ends meet to the rich and famous, as a result of posting here.
So, finally wrapping up here - this forum wants you, needs you, must have you, to join forces with us. We have strength alone, but we have power together.
Welcome aboard, Dianne!