Here are some of the most important unanswered questions in Parkinson’s disease research from some of the leading figures in the field. This post first appeared on the Tomorrow Edition website.
Why are most patients tremor dominant?
Prof. Bas Bloem
Why do rates of progression differ so much between different patients?
Why do patients with a tremor, which is an extra motor sign, have a better prognosis than those without?
Why do some people develop freezing of gait?
Why are there such prominent gender differences in Parkinson’s disease?
Prof. John Hardy
Are alpha-synuclein deposits the cause or consequence of something deeper wrong with neurons?
Prof. Andrew Lees
Is the presence of Lewy bodies at post-mortem essential to confirm the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease or can it occur without them?
Can we diagnose Parkinson’s disease in the absence of bradykinesia?
Dr. Peter Schmidt
Most genes identified are linked to risk of Parkinson’s but not how it manifests and the rate of progression. What biological factors contribute to the progression rate?
What factors contribute to the risk of cognitive change in PD, which seems to be largely absent in about 50% of cases?
How much do we have to knock down extracellular alpha-synuclein to measurably slow cell to cell transmission (if this approach even works)? Is, for example, a 99% reduction enough?
Dr. Simon Stott
Why does the condition progress so slowly?
Why are some cells in the brain more vulnerable than others?
Why does the condition affect men more than women?
Prof. Gerold Riempp
Is PD really a single illness or is it rather a group of different ailments that all lead to somewhat similar symptoms in the end?
How big is the influence of genetic components of PD?
Why is the incidence of PD lower in countries closer to the equator?
Is there a single way of curing PD?
Prof. Joel Watts
Can we develop an accurate animal model of PD?
Does spreading of protein aggregate pathology contribute to disease progression in PD?
Prof. Roger Barker
When does Parkinson’s disease begin?
Why do some patients with PD do so well?
Does alpha-synuclein really have prion like properties in patients with PD?
Prof. Tanya Gurevich
What is the trigger which activates the cascade of neurodegeneration?
Add your own questions in the comments below!
“The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
– Albert Einstein
“What interests me in life is curiosity, challenges, the good fight with its victories and defeats.”
– Paulo Coelho