Developments in Parkinson’s Disease Research



At the 2019 International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders, physicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals from around the world gathered in Nice, France, from September 22 to 26, 2019, to learn the latest research findings and treatment options. Neurologist and movement disorder specialist Dr. Deborah Boland, D.O., MSPT, traveled from Tampa, Florida, to be among more than 5,000 medical professionals in attendance at this year’s global conference.

Progress is being made toward a disease-modifying treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) with promising new concepts and targets reaching early clinical development. Research is continued to be reinforced regarding the benefits and efficacy of exercise interventions, both in acute changes and potential long-term benefits of disease modification.

Researchers are looking closely at LRRK2, one of the genes that contributes to PD, and discovering ways to inhibit it. In addition, researchers are studying alpha-synuclein, one of the proteins which is deposited in PD, to reduce its production, to find protein aggregation inhibitors, and to decrease alpha synuclein spread. Also being evaluated are mechanisms that can cause neurodegeneration, such as oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, disrupted proteolysis, neuroinflammation, and excitotoxicity.

It’s also interesting to take an in-depth and detailed look at the effect of placebo medication results within movement disorder diagnosis. Research actually shows that this placebo effect might be linked to a release of dopamine that improves motor function in clinical trial participants with PD. In fact, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research currently is examining the placebo effect on brain function. They are conducting a clinical trial using functional MRI to study the motor system and the dopamine system with both active medication and placebo treatments.

You can view the research presented at the International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders here.

Through this research, there is hope. While there is not yet a cure for PD, clinical breakthroughs and advancements in research continue to lead to new therapies and treatments that will improve quality of life.  For more information about PD and your treatment options, please call (813) 981-4403 or contact us online.