How can we find better treatments for Parkinson's disease (PD) at a faster pace? At the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF), we argue that one solution is ensuring that people with Parkinson’s are primary partners in research alongside scientists, industry and government. The innovation of patient engagement is something that the medical community is starting to recognize as a necessary component to patient-centered research and care delivery.
The greatest issue facing Parkinson’s patients today is the lack of any therapy that could slow the disease progression. In its early and mid stages, Parkinson’s primarily affects the dopamine system and, as we have seen in studies of placebo response, the dopamine system responds to hope. The impact of a therapy that can slow the disease would go beyond just the benefit of neuroprotection, it would help people with Parkinson’s to see a brighter future. Research has shown that the placebo response in randomized trials is affected by the probability of the s
Parkinson’s patients need a cure. The millions living with the disease today, the many more who will age into Parkinson’s risk and their loved ones need a therapy that could prevent, stop or halt progression of the disease. No current treatments impact the disease process itself; they only treat the symptoms. In addition, the symptomatic treatments at our disposable leave much to be desired. Some symptoms — such as cognitive decline — have no therapeutic option.
Because Parkinson’s is a chronic illness, the issues that face persons with Parkinson’s disease vary with the stage of the disease. One challenge for research is how best to improve quality of life across the span of this disease. This past fall and winter the NINDS and the Parkinson’s community wrestled with this challenge in developing research recommendations for Parkinson’s disease (PD recommendations for research