Major Research Goals in Treating Neuropsychiatric Symptoms of Parkinson Disease: Neal Hermanowicz, MD

SAP Partner | <b>PMD Alliance</b>

The neurologist at Christus St. Vincent Health System detailed the areas of research dedicated to understanding more about neuropsychiatric symptoms of Parkinson disease and the root causes of the disease. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"[We need to] stop this process of neurodegeneration, the loss of neurons that are involved in Parkinson disease, and also find those people who may be at risk. Those people who have REM sleep disorder and impaired sense of smell and get an organized effort to find it early before it becomes such a problem."

The COVID-19 pandemic has lowered the quality of life for many patients with neurological conditions, including those with Parkinson disease (PD). In a newly conducted survey study by the Parkinson’s & Movement Disorders (PMD) Alliance, the increased social isolation because of restrictions around the globe had statistically significant negative associations with the burden of mood and nonmotor symptoms of PD.1

Among 718 responders, which included patients with PD (70.6%) and care partners (29.4%), decreased social support from outside of the household during the pandemic had direct impacts on sadness/depression and anxiety. Investigators also observed associations with things like decline in memory, problem solving, or communications, new or worsening confusion, and new or worsening delusions. For patients with PD, the pandemic only elevated the neuropsychiatric symptoms they experience, which in some cases have been known to be more troubling than the motor symptoms.

Lead investigator Neal Hermanowicz, MD, sat down with NeurologyLive® to talk about related research for these patients and the emphasis on modifiable activities aimed at improving quality of life. Hermanowicz, a neurologist at Christus St. Vincent Health System, also commented on the need for pharmaceutical help and increased discussion on prevention.

REFERENCE
1. Hermanowicz N, Ospina MC, Torres-Yaghi Y, et al. Impact of isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic on the patient burden of Parkinson disease: a PMD Alliance survey. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2022;18:633-643. doi:10.2147/NDT.S351691