What Innovations, Technologies Are Emerging in the Pipeline of Parkinson Disease Treatment?

June 20, 2020

Central nervous system gene therapies and advanced technologies to provide these treatments were noted as emerging opportunities in treatment for neurological conditions such as Parkinson disease, according to review findings. Researchers also highlighted the lack of experience and technology in medical centers nationwide to provide these services.

Central nervous system (CNS) gene therapies and advanced technologies to provide these treatments were noted as emerging opportunities in treatment for neurological conditions such as Parkinson disease (PD), according to review findings published in Polish Journal of Neurology and Neurosurgery.

Currently, vector-based intracerebral gene therapies are being used to treat specific neurodegenerative conditions. While these therapies have been included in clinical trials for PD and other similar conditions, there has yet to be a breakthrough treatment.

However, researchers note that new molecular agents, device innovations, and improved neurosurgical techniques have unlocked the potential of therapies delivered directly via infusion into the CNS. With this opportunity emerging, they sought to review how these CNS gene therapy treatments performed in neurological diseases, as well as if skill sets and health delivery strategies within the clinical neuroscience practices are aligned with future demand for these therapies.

Focusing on patients with idiopathic PD, researchers referenced image-guided convection enhanced delivery (CED) as optimizing the parenchymal distribution of gene therapies applied within the CNS. Citing this as the potential therapeutic breakthrough, researchers then highlighted how image-guided CED and gene therapy are not part of training programs for most neurosurgeons and neurologists. This could prove to lessen the impact among patients as treatment will be limited by factors such as geographic location and specialization.

“If CNS gene therapies prove to be efficacious for PD and/or other conditions, the demand for such treatments will overwhelm the available number of experienced clinical neuroscience teams and treatment centres,” warned the study authors.

To address this potential demand, researchers said that a worldwide education effort to provide this training to clinical neuroscience practitioners would be warranted. Moreover, they say to begin this transition, at least a limited number of Centers of Excellence will need to establish relevant educational training requirements and best practice for these therapies.

The crucial availability of advanced technologies, such as robotics and artificial intelligence, were then cited by researchers as they “will expand the treatment team's capabilities while assisting in the safe and timely care of those afflicted.”

Reference

Fiandaca MS, Lonser RR, Elder JB, et al. Advancing gene therapies, methods, and technologies for Parkinson disease and other neurological disorders. Neurol Neurochir Pol. Published online June 18, 2020. doi:10.5603/PJNNS.a2020.0046