Latest News in Parkinson Disease: Optimizing Multidisciplinary Care, Burden of Advanced Disease, and More

An overview of the latest news in Parkinson disease reported across MJH Life Sciences™.

An overview of the latest news in Parkinson disease (PD) reported across MJH Life Sciences.

Integrating Advanced Practice Clinicians in Neurology

With issues regarding a disproportionate supply of neurology clinicians to meet the demands of patients, an article by NeurologyLive® spotlighted a recent editorial by Calli L. Cook, NP, DNP, and Heidi B. Schwarz, MD, calling for the integration of advanced practice clinicians (APCs) to create more efficient multidisciplinary care.

Although APCs’ limited exposure to neurology in training may cause concern, Cook said in an added Q&A that she believes in the role of a neuroscience APC as to optimize quality in a team-based model, particularly for an area of health care such as neurology that is associated with long wait time and significant delays for patients.

In discussing ideas within the editorial, Cook said that better integrating APCs in neurology warrants the need for education to dispel neurophobia, a fear of neurology stemming from the lack of training programs available for these clinicians. In addition to addressing educational gaps, Cook noted that a long-term goal would be to grow interest and improve the number of people pursuing a career as a neurology APC.

Burden of Advanced PD

In a Peer Exchange series by NeurologyLive®, titled “Recognizing and Managing Advanced Parkinson Disease,” panelists discussed the burden and impairment of advanced PD. With quality of life for patients emerging as a growing reflection of how care is assessed, several factors were noted to warrant consideration in patient care:

  • mobility
  • independence in activities of daily living
  • emotional well-being and social support
  • the stigma associated with the disease
  • cognitive impairment

With increased integration of quality-of-life scales such as the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, panelists noted that patient care still needs to be centered through a preventive perspective. Noting that patients with PD often compare themselves with other patients even though the disease presents differently for each person, they said that a key and challenging part of a neurologist’s role is to delineate areas in care where the benefits of increased dosage of treatment, or an added therapy, outweighs the risk.

Blarcamesine Therapy Associated With Improvements in PD-Related Dementia

According to full results from the proof-of-concept phase 2 study of blarcamesine, formerly known as ANAVEX 2-73, the experimental drug developed by Anavex Life Sciences was shown to meet its primary and secondary endpoints in the treatment of cognitive impairment in patients with PD dementia (PDD).

As reported by NeurologyLive®, the treatment resulted in significant (P = .035) mRNA expression increase of sigma-1 receptor (SIGMAR1), which corresponded with clinical efficacy in the primary end point of Cognitive Drug Research (CDR) system Continuity of Attention (CoA; P = .029) and CDR system Power of Attention (PoA; P = .015).

Furthermore, clinical efficacy was shown in the secondary endpoints, including Movement Disorder Society-Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) Part III (P = .024) and MDS-UPDRS total (P = .038) scores. Anavex cited its plans to submit these data to the FDA to seek regulatory guidance.