Challenges in Diagnosis and Treatment for Atypical Parkinsonian Disorders: David Shprecher, DO, MSci, FAAN


The director of movement disorders at the Banner Sun Health Research Institute discussed the challenges in diagnosing atypical Parkinsonian disorders and the potential role of biomarkers in improving diagnostic accuracy. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

"The treatments really focus on palliative care; we're trying to alleviate the burden of the symptoms on quality of life, and we can to some degree for a period of time. With atypical Parkinsonian disorders, patients are going to lose benefit over time, but we encourage them to keep an open mind about participating [in clinical trials] because of their volunteering, although they shouldn't participate with the hope that they're going to directly benefit."

The diagnosis and management of atypical parkinsonian disorders, such as multiple system atrophy (MSA), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), and dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), remains a major challenge for the clinical community. These neurodegenerative diseases, identified through unique symptomatology, are in need of a deeper understanding for novel approaches to improve diagnosis and treatment. Despite the complexities of the diseases, recent advancements in the field like biomarkers and other measurements for progression provide a way to combat those challenges.

David Shprecher, DO, MSci, FAAN, director of movement disorders at the Banner Sun Health Research Institute, presented a talk about essential tremor at the 2nd Annual Advanced Therapeutics in Movement and Related Disorders (ATMRD) Congress, held by the PMD Alliance from June 8 to 11, 2023, in Washington, DC.1 In his presentation, he also spoke about advancements and clinical care in patients who are living with atypical Parkinson disorders.

Shprecher sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® at the meeting to discuss how the use of biomarkers could potentially improve the diagnostic confidence for atypical parkinsonian disorders. He also talked about the challenges in measuring disease progression for other neurogenerative diseases such as DLB and PSP. In addition, Shprecher explained the reason for why patient participation is essential in clinical trials, even if the direct benefits may be limited for those living with atypical parkinsonian disorders.

Click here for more coverage of ATMRD 2023.

1. Shprecher, D. Advances in Essential Tremor & Atypical Parkinsonism. Presented at: ATMRD; June 9-11, 2023; Washington, DC.
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