“There’s a long list of unmet needs with Parkinson, such as cognitive impairment and hallucinations, and treating the underlying disorder itself, as well as balance problems, freezing of gait, and so on. Each of these calls for their own form of therapeutics.”

In Parkinson disease, one of the biggest improvements has been in the delivery platforms for the gold standard in therapy: levodopa.

For a treatment that has otherwise been extremely irregular in its absorption, levodopa has still been the best available option for patients with Parkinson disease. With new methods of delivery, such as inhaled, rapid onset types as well as longer-acting formulations, this has given physicians improved control of the treatment.

As Peter A. LeWitt, MD, pointed out, the developments beyond levodopa have also built up a level of excitement for those treating the condition, including deep brain stimulation and gene therapies. These therapies are helping to address the long list of unmet needs in symptomatic management in Parkinson.

The director of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Program at Henry Ford Hospital sat with NeurologyLive to discuss this pipeline of therapies and the enhancement of the clinical understanding of the disease.