Gaps in Access to Device-Aided Therapies for Parkinson Disease: Hubert Fernandez, MD


The director of the Center for Neurological Restoration at Cleveland Clinic spoke to how identifying care gaps in Parkinson disease patients is not a niche issue, but part of a bigger problem.

"If the 7 richest countries have a 50% gap, could you imagine what other developing countries are facing? Secondly, the better we care for Parkinson disease patients, the longer they live, and the longer they live. It is just a matter of time when they reach that period of advancing Parkinson disease, where your oral pharmacotherapy would eventually fail, and you would eventually need this.”

Lead author Hubert Fernandez, MD, recently published a study which classified patients with Parkinson disease (PD) and their eligibility for device aided therapies using a validated screening tool called MANAGE-PD. Patients were grouped into 3 categories: (1) adequately controlled on oral therapy; (2) inadequately controlled on oral therapy but oral optimization possible; and (3) inadequately controlled on oral therapy and eligible for device-aided therapies.

The investigators found that 19% of patients (n = 2709) were inadequately controlled and eligible for device-aided therapies; however, 50% of those deemed eligible did not report having any discussion with providers about future use of device-aided therapies. Fernandez, director of the Center for Neurological Restoration at Cleveland Clinic, feels as though these data speak to a larger problem in care for patients with PD.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Fernandez discussed why faster and accurate screening for patients eligible for device-aided therapies is crucial in the timeline and long-term care. He noted that the window for this option is not as wide as the traditional pharmacotherapy route, meaning time is of the essence.

For more coverage of AAN 2021, click here.

Fernandez H, Odin P, Standaert D, et al. Identifying gaps in Parkinson disease patients eligible for device-aided therapies: results from using the MANAGE-PD tool in patients from G7 countries. Abstract P14.117
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