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Dr. Okun posted a topic in Ask The DoctorThe 10 Breakthrough Therapies and Treatments to Watch in Parkinson’s Disease A breakthrough is defined as a sudden increase in knowledge, improvement in technique, or fundamental advancement in understanding. Often breakthroughs occur when a formidable obstacle is penetrated. Breakthroughs are heralded as major achievements and they pave the road to meaningful progress in any disease. I have spent my entire professional career focused on Parkinson’s and related diseases. I have been blessed to spend much of my time taking care of patients, and I have evolved to understand the critical need for all those suffering to have access to information on breakthrough therapies. The point that I emphasize with my patients is that breakthrough ideas and therapies in Parkinson’s disease stretch far beyond a single drug or stem cell. There is, in fact, a broader and more exciting picture and portfolio of breakthroughs spanning drug, cell, vaccine, device, genetics, care, and behavior. Patients and families with personal investments in Parkinson’s disease should be informed and updated about all of the potential breakthrough therapies. “Every challenge you encounter in life is a fork in the road. You have the choice to choose which way to go: backward, forward, breakdown or breakthrough.” ― Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha There are several potential breakthroughs that should be on every patient and family member’s radar screen. Here is a list for patients and families of potential Parkinson breakthroughs to watch http://parkinsonbreakthrough.com: · Disease Modifying Drugs and Biomarkers- these are drugs that may slow Parkinson’s disease progression; also imaging and fluid (e.g. blood, spinal fluid) markers that can track the effects of Parkinson’s drugs are needed and under development · Coffee, Tea, Exercise, Interdisciplinary Teams and Caregivers- there is mounting evidence that these approaches have symptomatic and perhaps even other benefits in Parkinson’s disease · Extended Release/Novel Delivery Systems for Parkinson’s Disease Drug and When to Start Drug Therapy- Parkinson’s disease desperately needs longer acting drugs to reduce the “number of pills” burden · Marijuana and Synthetic Cannabinoids- surprising to some experts has been the revelation that there are cannabinoid receptors in the brain and tickling them may be beneficial to some Parkinson’s disease symptoms · New Drugs for Hallucinations, Sleep, Constipation and Dizziness- these problems are vexing for patients and caregivers, but several new drugs are poised to make a difference · Therapies While Hospitalized and Avoiding Hospitalization- we now know that the hospitalization risk is very high in Parkinson’s disease, and that hospitals can be dangerous places for patients; the focus needs to shift toward avoiding hospitalizations · Advancing Deep Brain Stimulation Technology, Earlier Intervention and Dopamine Pumps- the technology has been refining our approach to the symptomatic management of Parkinson’s disease and new therapies are now reaching the bedside · Stem Cells and Stem Cell Tourism- there has been a shift away from the idea that stem cell transplants will cure Parkinson’s disease, however stem cells are proving powerful in drug screening · Prions, Spreading Proteins, Vaccines and Growth Factors- several novel approaches are in trial, and a Parkinson’s vaccine may be on the horizon · The Drug Development Pipeline- understanding the drug development pipeline will help patients and families to gain access to the newest Parkinson’s disease therapies Check out the new book 10 Breakthrough Therapies in Parkinson's Disease at www.amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/10-Breakthrough-Therapies-Parkinsons-Disease/dp/0692497412/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443354908&sr=8-1&keywords=parkinson%27s+disease+and+okun