Hubert Fernandez, MD: Therapeutic Innovations For Parkinson Disease

August 7, 2020

The director of the Center for Neurological Restoration at Cleveland Clinic detailed the recent technological and therapeutic innovations and their advantages in treating Parkinson disease.

“A decade ago, our clinical trials were to stop the tremor. Now, we’re addressing cognitive impairment, disease progression, and testing more and more devices for advanced stages of Parkinson’s.”

The focus of Parkinson disease (PD) treatment has shifted greatly over the past 2 decades. A disease often characterized by the symptoms that are associated with it, researchers have begun to gain a better understanding of the underlying causes of PD and have ramped up testing agents that can disrupt the cascade of events that lead to the disease.

Hubert Fernandez, MD, director, Center for Neurological Restoration, Cleveland Clinic, claims that researchers have identified gene mutation that is responsible for 5% to 10% of cases of PD. Fernandez told NeurologyLive that the continued development of agents that will attack those genes and prevent them from spreading will ultimately act as a cure for PD.

Fernandez also discussed deep brain stimulation (DBS), a procedure that has become safer over the years but is still not widely used, and bears caution for some. In an interview with NeurologyLive, Fernandez discussed the shift in focus for therapeutic options for patients with PD, as well as the pros and cons for patients who may be eligible for DBS surgery.