“There are probably very different disease subtypes contained within the umbrella of Parkinson disease.”

At the American Academy of Neurology's (AAN) 70th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, California, NeurologyLive's sister publication MD Mag sat with Albert Espay, MD, MSc, to talk about the transformation of the field of thought surrounding Parkinson disease (PD) treatment. 

Espay, a professor of neurology, Director of the James J. and Joan A. Gardner Family Center Research Chair for Parkinson and Movement Disorders at UC Health, noted that although the management of symptoms related to dopamine deficiency has been quite successful, the development of disease-modifying therapies has been underwhelming.

He explained that part of this struggle met by the Parkinson treatment community has been due to the current, and longstanding, conceptualization of PD altogether. Espay argues that while the current belief in the clinical criteria has allowed for success in symptomatic strategies, it has, ultimately, held the field back from achieving progress in the targeting of punitive, disease-modifying interventions.