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AAN 2021 | Disease-modifying therapies in PD – are we on the wrong track?

Current therapies for Parkinson’s disease (PD) are solely symptomatic, with no disease-modifying strategies available so far. Clinical trials to date have considered PD to be a single entity with abnormal protein aggregation at the root of the disease. Alberto Espay, MD, FAAN, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, shares his thoughts on current investigational approaches and concerns that a different path may be more appropriate. Given the pathological heterogeneity of PD, Prof. Espay feels that disease-modifying efforts should refocus on addressing individual biological subtypes. This interview took place during the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 2021 Annual Meeting.


Dr. Espay has received grant support from the NIH and the Michael J Fox Foundation; personal compensation as a consultant/scientific advisory board member for Abbvie, Neuroderm, Neurocrine, Amneal, Acadia, Acorda, Kyowa Kirin, Sunovion, Lundbeck, and USWorldMeds; honoraria from Acadia, Sunovion, Amneal, USWorldMeds; and publishing royalties from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Cambridge University Press, and Springer. He cofounded REGAIN Therapeutics, owner of a patent application that covers synthetic soluble non-aggregating peptide analogues as replacement treatment in proteinopathies. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, European Journal of Neurology, and JAMA Neurology.