The consultant in the Department of Neurology at Mayo Clinic discussed the mechanisms of action researchers should key in on for patients with Parkinson disease.
"Even if the patients do not have a complete mutation, the involvement of this particular pathway that is in the membrane of the cells, is relevant to the pathophysiology.”
Parkinson disease (PD) is a progressive disorder that affects nerve cells in the brain responsible for body movement. For reasons not yet understood, the dopamine-producing nerve cells of the substantia nigra begin to die off in some individuals. When dopamine-producing neurons die, symptoms such as tremor, slowness, stiffness, and balance problems occur.
It has been echoed by experts that PD is not just a single disease, but the makeup of a multitude of underlying neurological diseases. Despite this, the treatment options for individuals with PD remain few and far between. Rodolfo Savica, MD, PhD, feels as though researchers should begin to focus on mechanisms of action that are neuroprotective to PD.
Savica, a consultant in the department of neurology at Mayo Clinic and researcher of early-life predictors of neurodegeneration, sat down with NeurologyLive to discuss the major mechanisms of action of PD that need expanded research efforts, along with dismissing some of the previous confusions about the genetic makeup of PD.