Seeking Clarity in Patient Stratification of Parkinson Disease: Mazen Elkurd, DO


The director of the Movement Disorders Center at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, a part of Baylor Scott & White Health, talked about the dilemma of stratifying patients with Parkinson disease based on various criteria and emphasized the need for a consensus on classification. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"I think the big challenge is that there's no widely agreed upon way to stratify these patients. I think that's our biggest challenge. Do you stratify them by just clinical phenotype? Do you stratify them by age of onset? By genetic markers, or by some other criteria? The bottom-line is we don't have any defined criteria to stratify these patients.”

Patients with Parkinson disease, a heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorder, often experience symptoms that affect their progressive motor and nonmotor features, including resting tremor, bradykinesia, mood disorders, olfactory dysfunction, and cognitive impairment. In 2016, approximately 6.1 million patients were living with PD worldwide with this number expected to increase to 17.5 million by 2040 because of the growing aging population and increased longevity.1

Therefore, having a compressive understanding of the genetic mechanisms underlying different subtypes of the disease is an essential step towards precision medicine, allowing patients to receive the personalized care that they need. Recently, at 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, Mazen Elkurd, DO, sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® to provide his clinical perspective on stratification by PD subtypes in clinical trials.

Elkurd, director of the Movement Disorders Center at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, a part of Baylor Scott & White Health, talked about how the lack of a standardized classification system for patients with PD impacts research and strategies for treatment. He also spoke about what distinguishes the concept of PD as an "entity" from classifying it into distinct subtypes. Additionally, Elkurd shared his thoughts on the steps that the movement disorder community could take to establish a framework for classifying PD subtypes.

Click here for more coverage of ATMRD 2023.

1. Rizig M, Bandres-Ciga S, Makarious MB, et al. Genome-wide Association Identifies Novel Etiological Insights Associated with Parkinson's Disease in African and African Admixed Populations. Preprint. medRxiv. 2023;2023.05.05.23289529. Published 2023 May 7. doi:10.1101/2023.05.05.23289529
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