Latest News in Parkinson Disease: Treatment for Parkinson Psychosis, Access to Care During COVID-19, and More


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

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

Pimavanserin Shows Sustained Efficacy for Parkinson Disease Psychosis

In recently released data from the open-label extension efficacy analysis of 34-mg pimavanserin (Nuplazid) in PD psychosis (PDP), NeurologyLive® reports that the FDA-approved therapy provided a sustained efficacy response in patients with PDP experiencing hallucinations and delusions.

Measured via subscales of the Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms (SAPS), symptoms of psychosis exhibited a mean (SD) improvement from baseline to week 4 of –1.8 (5.5), with patients who switched from placebo to 34-mg pimavanserin improving as well during this time span, at –2.9 (5.6).

Patients treated with pimavanserin dosages of 8.5 mg and 17 mg were also found to show improvement in symptoms of psychosis when switched to the 34-mg dose over the 4 weeks of the study.

Assessing Quality of Life, Access to Care for Patients With PD Amid the Pandemic

In a Peers & Perspectives segment from NeurologyLive®, titled, “Patient QoL and Access to Care During COVID-19,” participants spoke on how quality of life (QOL) and access to care fared for patients with PD amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

With COVID-19 causing people to stay at home early in the pandemic, people with PD, who are already prone to fatigue and impaired quality of life, were noted to be significant subgroups to monitor as these symptoms may be further exacerbated by isolation and feelings of worry. In comparing in-person visits with virtual visits, the panelists said that patients were less likely to report OFF episodes in virtual sessions and were less likely to start a new medication.

With the pandemic beginning to subside, the panelists said they expect patients with PD to return to in-patient visits and become more active. Moreover, they said that the tools developed amid the pandemic will be able to be leveraged in combination with those in the clinic to improve reporting of OFF episodes and symptoms.

Advancement of Deep Brain Stimulation in PD

Discussing the past, present, and future of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in PD, an article by NeurologyLive® indicates that surgical care is safe and effective for the condition and should no longer be treated as a last resort consideration.

Conversely, prioritizing the surgical option earlier in the PD disease course was referenced, with important factors in predicting the success of DBS for patients with PD noted to be patient selection and target selection. Author Atom Sarkar, MD, PhD, professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Drexel University College of Medicine, expanded that for those with PD, the subthalamic nucleus or the globus pallidus internal are the 2 targets for DBS, with the optimal choice identified by a multidisciplinary team of neuropsychologists, neurologists, and neurosurgeons.

Apprehension toward the surgical option was cited to remain a significant barrier to DBS utilization. However, innovations in neurobiology, science, technology, engineering, and public awareness may shape the future of DBS, said Sarkar.

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