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MDS 2021 | Clinical and biological subtyping in Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is recognized as presenting with a broad spectrum of motor and non-motor symptoms, and varying disease progression. PD has traditionally been categorized based on an individual’s clinical appearance, with the assumption that underlying biological features cluster within each. Alberto Espay, MD, FAAN, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, discusses the limitations of subtyping based on clinical characteristics and the importance of defining distinct biologic subtypes. Successful biological subtyping would have important implications, enabling more accurate prognostication and targeted treatment. This interview took place during the 2021 International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders.


Prof. 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 analogs as a replacement treatment in proteinopathies. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, European Journal of Neurology, and JAMA Neurology.