Enhancing Care and Diagnostic Criteria for Essential Tremor and Dementia with Lewy Bodies: David Shprecher, DO, MSci, FAAN


The director of movement disorders at the Banner Sun Health Research Institute talked about alternative approaches for treating essential tremor beyond medications, and developments in the diagnostic criteria for Lewy body disorders. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

"I mentioned that there have been exciting developments with biomarkers. I think it's important that we first consider that the biomarkers are not yet incorporated in our diagnostic criteria for any of these disorders. But we're going to start seeing them incorporated into the criteria."

A parasomnia identified as a prodromal biomarker for alpha-synuclein pathologies such as in Parkinson disease (PD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and multiple system atrophy is isolated rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (iRBD).1 Approximately between 40% and 50% of patients with PD also have RBD, mostly those who are older with a longer disease duration, and who experience greater disease severity.2 Therefore, improved diagnosis with the recognition of biomarkers and enhancement of care can lead to better patient outcomes in related movement disorders.

Recently, David Shprecher, DO, MSci, FAAN, director of movement disorders at the Banner Sun Health Research Institute, attended 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.2 At the meeting, Shprecher presented his clinical perspective on essential tremor and atypical Parkinson disorders, in terms of the recent advancements among these types of movement disorders, in a talk session.

Following the talk at the meeting, Shprecher sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® to discuss how occupational therapy can benefit patients with essential tremor, and why awareness of available devices is important for these patients. He also talked about the role biomarkers play in the diagnosis and prediction of progression in synuclein-related disorders such as with iRBD. In addition, Shprecher spoke about why addressing cognitive fluctuations is significant in the care of DLB, and the types of interventions that can mitigate them.

Click here for more coverage of ATMRD 2023.

1. Postuma RB, Iranzo A, Hu M, et al. Risk and predictors of dementia and parkinsonism in idiopathic REM sleep behaviour disorder: a multicentre study. Brain. 2019;142(3):744-759. doi:10.1093/brain/awz030
2. Zhu RL, Xie CJ, Hu PP, Wang K. Clinical variations in Parkinson's disease patients with or without REM sleep behaviour disorder: a meta-analysis. Sci Rep. 2017;7:40779. Published 2017 Jan 16. doi:10.1038/srep40779
3. Shprecher, D. Advances in Essential Tremor & Atypical Parkinsonism. Presented at: ATMRD; June 9-11, 2023; Washington, DC.
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