100 episodes

How can people with Parkinson's live a better life today? Join the Parkinson's Foundation as we highlight the treatments and techniques that can help all people affected by Parkinson’s live a better life today, as well as the research that can bring a better tomorrow.

Substantial Matters: Life & Science of Parkinson’s Parkinson’s Foundation

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.1 • 87 Ratings

How can people with Parkinson's live a better life today? Join the Parkinson's Foundation as we highlight the treatments and techniques that can help all people affected by Parkinson’s live a better life today, as well as the research that can bring a better tomorrow.

    ¡EN ESPAÑOL! Dónde acudir para obtener recursos y apoyo como cuidadores

    ¡EN ESPAÑOL! Dónde acudir para obtener recursos y apoyo como cuidadores

    En honor al Mes Nacional de los Cuidadores Familiares, en este episodio, hablamos con Ruby Rendon, Coordinadora de Alcance Hispano en el Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center y cuidadora principal de su mamá, Corina Villalobos, que hace ya 15 años fue diagnosticada con la enfermedad de Parkinson.
     
    Poco después del diagnóstico de su mamá, se interesó en aprender más sobre la enfermedad y fue así como encontró el programa para hispanos del Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center.
     
    Ruby comparte su experiencia como cuidadora de su madre, los recursos que le han ayudado a navegar su recorrido emocional como cuidadora, donde encuentra el apoyo emocional en su vida y lo que le ha ayudado a superar los desafíos que ha enfrentado.

    • 12 min
    Caring for Loved Ones with Parkinson’s Disease

    Caring for Loved Ones with Parkinson’s Disease

    For many years, Western medicine focused on disease and on keeping people healthy. Then it evolved to view the “whole person,” including the physical, mental, emotional, social, and environmental aspects of one’s functioning. Today’s medicine goes even beyond that model and encompasses the family, especially care partners, who take on so much when caring for a loved one with a chronic disease.
     
    A leading voice in this area is Jori Fleisher, MD, MSCE of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, who has been developing a peer mentoring program in Parkinson’s and related diseases. In a study she conducted using regularly scheduled home visits for people with advanced neurodegenerative diseases, the researchers found that caregivers’ strain increased from mild to moderate or even to severe over the course of one year. So now she is addressing caregiver needs through a peer mentoring program built into a home visit program, with a research component to it. After a period of training, peer mentors were matched with a mentee and eventually a second mentee over the course of a year. In this episode, Jori reviews what she and her colleagues have learned so far, how they are refining the program, and where they will go from here, including a large, national, randomized trial of the program.

    • 21 min
    Repurposing Medications to Slow Progression of PD

    Repurposing Medications to Slow Progression of PD

    Until the ultimate goal of finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease (PD) is achieved, researchers are taking various approaches to developing a treatment that significantly slows its progression. Here, clinical science and basic science come together to understand the underlying biological mechanisms of PD and then using that knowledge to test medications that target those mechanisms. Having discovered such molecular and cellular malfunctions, scientists may tailor the development of medications to target the underlying causes of the disease.
     
    Another approach has also relied on knowing the mechanisms of the disease but then searching through the vast array of current drugs to treat all sorts of conditions and rationally choosing ones that may work to slow progression of PD – so-called drug repurposing. Dr. Patrik Brundin, Director of the Parkinson’s Disease Center at Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan, explains that this is the approach that the International Linked Clinical Trials (iLCT) program for Parkinson’s has taken. Since its inception in 2010, the iLCT has become one of the most comprehensive drug repurposing programs focused on a single disease. Under this program, seven clinical trials have been completed, and 15 are ongoing, testing 16 potential candidate drugs to slow the progression of PD. The advantage is that the drugs under consideration have already been tested for safety and how they act in the body, speeding up the process of applying them to Parkinson’s.

    • 18 min
    Gene-Based Therapies for Parkinson’s Disease

    Gene-Based Therapies for Parkinson’s Disease

    Gene-based therapies for Parkinson’s disease, while still in the developmental stage, are under active investigation. For this potential therapy, genes are engineered in a laboratory and then injected into specific parts of the brain. The genes may function either to induce cells in the brain to produce dopamine, or to code for the production of enzymes that then lead to the production of dopamine.
     
    This episode is the second part of our conversation with Dr. Roger Barker, Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. In our previous podcast with him, he discussed cell therapy for Parkinson’s. Here, he explains what gene-based therapy is, plans for the execution of the treatments, what symptoms they are aimed at, where the field currently stands, and how it compares to developments in cell-based therapies. As the field is still in the experimental stages, he again offers advice to people with Parkinson’s who are considering entering a clinical trial of gene-based or cell-based therapy and what they may expect in terms of symptom management and disease progression.

    • 14 min
    Cell-Based Therapies for Parkinson’s Disease

    Cell-Based Therapies for Parkinson’s Disease

    Researchers have been investigating cell-based therapies for treating Parkinson’s disease (PD) for some time now, using a variety of materials and methods. Two approaches have been to implant dopamine-producing cells or to induce cells already in the brain to become dopamine-producers. We asked Dr. Roger Barker, Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, to summarize what has been learned so far and based on that, to give his perspective on where the field may be headed. The field is still in the experimental stages, and he cautions about what people with PD should ask when considering entering a clinical trial of cell-based therapy and what they may expect in terms of symptom management and disease progression.

    • 19 min
    Non-pharmaceutical Treatments for PD: DBS and Focused Ultrasound

    Non-pharmaceutical Treatments for PD: DBS and Focused Ultrasound

    Not all medical interventions for Parkinson’s disease (PD) involve drugs. Two other main treatments are deep brain stimulation (DBS) and focused ultrasound (FUS). DBS uses a surgically implanted electrical pulse generator connected to electrodes placed in the brain to stimulate areas involved in PD. FUS does not require surgery but aims ultrasound –  high frequency sound waves – at a specific area of the brain to relieve Parkinson’s symptoms.
     
    Each technology has its uses, advantages, and disadvantages. In this podcast episode, Kyle Mitchell, MD of Duke University in North Carolina discusses the two treatments, how each works, which patients may do best with either of them, and some caveats. He also looks ahead at what is in development. 

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
87 Ratings

87 Ratings

Becky from Plano ,

Grouchy PD husband

Thank you for your very informative podcast. My husband was diagnosed 5 years ago. His mother also had Parkinsons but it was a very mild case. My question is this: Are mood changes common with this disease? My sweet, loving husband has turned into a grouchy complainer. I can’t seem to do anything right in his opinion. I look forward to your answer.

Aspiehler ,

Perspective

A wonderful way to get a diverse perspective and info on the many different facets of living with PD. or loving someone with PD.

BambiLashae ,

Helpful!

Great job keeping us informed!

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