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Dr. Okun

New Parkinson's Book Details all the Latest Treatments and Breakthroughs 2015-16

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Dr. Okun    411

The 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

 

 

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Viartis    6

Breakthroughs ! What breakthroughs ?

 

After thousands of years of describing and treating Parkinson's Disease, and despite the enormous resources used in developing new treatments, each method of treating Parkinson's Disease has been found to have serious inadequacies. They have all had either an unsound or only partially sound scientific basis. They have been aimed mostly at alleviating the symptoms in the short term rather than dealing with the cause. The treatments recently being developed for treating Parkinson's Disease have become progressively more diverse and scientifically unsound. None of them have resulted in even one person being rid of Parkinson's Disease.

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Dr. Okun    411

I agree with you!  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. I want people to be informed and in fact a breakthrough could be how we change our lives to live better with the disease.  Your point is definitely taken and a good one.

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Ali Nanji    0

Please advise what is the current status of using a PoNS modulator to make changes in the brain. The hyperlink

http://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B1jZJNsac7aJVjJsRWxHSm1kN0U

shows one example of almost a complete recovery from Parknson's symptoms by placing the device on the tongue for a few minutes over several days.This information is extracted from Norman Doidge's book (Remarkable discoveries from neuroplasticity).

 

Are meta studies underway & how can one join a pilot project?

 

Thanks

 

Alim

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Dr. Okun    411

Thanks for the question.  I am not aware of the PoNS modulator being used in any major large study for Parkinson so I cannot yet comment on whether it is a good option.

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TheDucks    4

Dear Dr Okun,

Do you consider Ultra sound instead of DBS a breakthrough for Parkinson? 

Do you know any center in USA performs the Ultrasound ? as still not approved by FDA for Parkinson?

Lastly, I read somewhere on the internet that severe hearing loss is a contra-indication to Ultrasound? Why?

Thank you for your time

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Dr. Okun    411

Thank you for the question.  Please see the latest What's Hot in Parkinson column which reviews myths and facts on ultrasound.  www.parkinson.org

 

It is an interesting technology, and it did get approval for essential tremor this past week.

 

As long as you realize it is unilateral and a potential hole in your brain, if placed correctly it should have similar effects to conventional lesion therapy.  It needs to be tested in Parkinson and there are trials ongoing. 

 

The hearing issue I am not positive but suspect it is for safety (not to worsen hearing loss with certain frequencies).  I will try to look into specific reasons for you.

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Sane Mafa    0

Hi

 

I just have two quick questions about hand tremors in Parkinson's

 

Where exactly in the hands do the tremors occur? Or does this differ from patient to patient? If so what is the most common area?

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Dr. Okun    411

The tremor in PD can be in the fingers, hands, wrists or even higher!  It varies patient to patient, but in most of the cases in our practice the hands are the most affected (though we may see tremor in a fair number of people in the legs).

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