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Substantial Matters: Life & Science of Parkinson’s

Jul 3, 2018

The mission of the Parkinson’s Foundation is to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Since each person’s experience with PD is unique, a wide range of factors must be evaluated to learn what the most effective treatments are, who can best benefit from each treatment or intervention, and how to help caregivers. Thus, the groundbreaking Parkinson’s Outcomes Project was begun in 2009. Through this study, the Parkinson’s Foundation’s Centers of Excellence track and monitor their care of people with PD over time, from the newly-diagnosed to people who have been living with PD for 20 or more years to develop a comprehensive view of the disease and its impact on people’s lives. The results are shared with health professionals to promote the best possible care for all people with PD.

Fernando Cubillos, Director of Research Programs for the Parkinson’s Foundation, leads the operations of the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project. He shares that, so far, the Parkinson's study has discovered that neuroprotective interventions, such as exercise, can change the course of the disease; that different medicines and treatment plans show vastly different results for different people; that increased physical activity can slow the decline in quality of life; and that regular care by a neurologist can save lives. Importantly, the Parkinson's Outcomes Project has shown that depression and anxiety are the number one factors impacting the overall health of people with Parkinson’s. Dr. Cubillos explains how the study has developed in this podcast.