The Future of Parkinson’s Disease: Symptom Management and Beyond


Sponsored Article

By Jorge Zamudio
Senior Medical Director, Neuroscience, AbbVie

Jorge Zamudio shares his personal experience with caring for a family member with Parkinson’s disease, what AbbVie is doing to help and the company’s relentless pursuit forward for those impacted by this debilitating disease.

While in medical school in my home country of Colombia, I wasn’t immediately drawn to neuroscience. Part of the reason for my hesitation about neuroscience was that, for many conditions, you don’t see results right away like you do in other medical areas. If there’s an infection, you offer antibiotics. If you have appendicitis, you can have surgery. The outcomes are almost immediate. But in neuroscience, the options are not always feasible or as impactful to the patient, which can be discouraging when all you want to do is make a meaningful difference in a patient’s life.

But when my father-in-law was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, everything changed. At the time, I was not very close to the disease, but after a few years, life gave me the opportunity to work for the Parkinson’s Foundation, working on research and patient and physician education, so I was already more familiar with the disease, but seeing a loved one experience it firsthand and the impact on my wife, her siblings, and even myself, was something that changed my entire perspective. I realized the difficulties associated with the progression of the disease, including finding the right treatment option. Issues like the morning routine to get up and going to the bathroom became challenging. Mealtimes and food intake had to be evaluated with oral medications. Also, caregiving became an issue for the family, and drastic decisions were made that impacted other family members.

Through this experience, I saw just how important the need for more solutions and treatment options was. So, I made finding solutions for Parkinson’s disease one of my top priorities.

With more than 8.5 million people worldwide living with Parkinson’s disease,1 new challenges require new ways of thinking across every stage, from drug discovery and development to patient support. And I am proud to be part of AbbVie, where we believe that everyone should have access to quality and affordable medicines if and when they need them.

Meeting unmet needs

We first must acknowledge that clinical unmet needs still exist despite the availability of several treatments.

As Parkinson’s disease progresses, many patients will experience fluctuations in their symptoms as their dosage wears off.2 These fluctuations are characterized as "On” and “Off” time. When the medication is working, and symptoms are minimal or non-existent, or "On," and when the medication hasn’t yet taken effect or has worn off, or “Off,” symptoms can return.2

For my father-in-law, walks, family visits and other leisure activities started requiring serious planning to ensure “Off” time would not interfere with these activities. He and his family had to plan activities around the medication to ensure “On” time.

However, these fluctuations may be managed, and “Off” time may be reduced.2 It starts with open and productive conversations between people living with Parkinson’s disease and their healthcare providers.

There are some patients that use oral therapies and it works for them. Other patients may find dissatisfaction with their current treatment. Healthcare providers are then challenged to determine the next step in the treatment process for their patients. Each patient is different; therefore, medication needs to be tailored to the needs of each patient.

When it comes to optimizing treatment, there are several system-level barriers patients face. Healthcare professionals and general neurologists may feel they have limited resources to understand and identify disease progression.

As part of AbbVie’s commitment to helping patients affected by Parkinson’s disease, AbbVie has built several tools, including one for healthcare professionals called MANAGE-PD, to help them manage progression in their Parkinson’s disease patients.3,4

Emerging science and technology

At AbbVie, we strive to preserve personhood for people with neurological disorders by uncovering new insights to help drive meaningful change for patients and change the standards of care.

In addition to oral therapies, the Neurology space now has therapies like subcutaneous delivery (Sub-Q), which is when you insert medications beneath the skin through an injection or infusion,5 and Device Aided Therapies (DAT), which include some like deep brain stimulation (DBS) and other pump-based infusion therapies.6

At AbbVie, we have a responsibility to keep working to help those affected by Parkinson’s disease. That’s why AbbVie is committed to research, as well as exploring early research in disease-modifying approaches.

A relentless pursuit forward

Every day, I am motivated by our current therapies, pipeline, and what is on the horizon as we work toward the future of Parkinson’s. Our aspiration is to help Parkinson’s patients at every stage of the disease – from early on to in between to advanced.

Our curiosity propels us forward in our relentless pursuit of this mission. Because we see a future where early diagnosis prevents disease progression. A future where we can help patients in a way they had not thought possible.

It’s what we work toward every day. And I’m excited for what’s to come.


As of February 2024, Zamudio has transitioned into a new role within AbbVie Neuroscience.


  1. Parkinson’s disease. World Health Organization. Available At: Accessed, March 20, 2024.
  2. Motor Fluctuations. Parkinson’s Foundation. Available at: Accessed March 20, 2024.
  3. MANAGE-PD | Tool for Making Informed Decisions to Aid Timely Management of Parkinson's Disease. Available at: Accessed March 20, 2024.
  4. MANAGE-PD | Tool for Making Informed Decisions to Aid Timely Management of Parkinson's Disease. Available At: Accessed March 20, 2024.
  5. Subcutaneous (SQ) injections. Medline Plus. Available at: Accessed March 20, 2024.
  6. Auffret M, et al. Access to device-aided therapies in advanced Parkinson's disease: navigating clinician biases, patient preference, and prognostic uncertainty. J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2023 Nov;130(11):1411-1432.

ALL-NEUP-240003 03/2024

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