Parkinson’s disease in 3 minutes

What is Parkinson’s disease?

A quick primer.

Parkinson’s disease is a complex neurological condition that worsens progressively, causing enormous suffering for patients and relatives. Patients lose nerve cells in a central part of the brain motor system. This leads to lower levels of dopamine, a vital molecule for regulating body movements.

Over the years, dopamine deficiency grows and increasingly precise treatment is needed. Multiple challenges develop as the disease progresses. Motor symptoms, like tremor, rigidity, and walking difficulties, can increase care dependency. Other complications such as dementia and depression can add up to further degrade the quality of life. Regular contacts with a neurologist are important to make sure the diagnosis is on target, and symptoms are monitored and addressed.

Mid- to late-stage Parkinson’s disease patients need increasingly detailed treatment adjustments. As the disease progresses, patients experience less normal, “good on time”. Involuntary, erratic movements (dyskinesias) are replaced with disabling motor symptoms when the medicine wears off. In late stages, rapid fluctuations between these two extremes can occur.

Parkinson’s medication window of effectiveness for levodopa: Too little medication gives no effect (“off”-state). Too much medication results in involuntary movements (dyskinesias) and other side effects. The size and position of this ‘therapeutic window’ will change with disease progression, making the patient increasingly reliant on precise, tailored dosage levels.

Optimizing Parkinson’s treatment can prove challenging. Caregivers rely on visual symptoms and general guidelines to choose and fine-tune treatment options. Quantifiable symptom estimates exist but are seldom used. Assessment is more or less subjective, based on the individual clinician’s experience.

Both symptom evaluation and the patient’s own experience of treatment efficiency can be affected by several factors. Besides motor symptoms, sleep disturbances and pain are not uncommon. Changes in other medication can affect Parkinson’s symptoms, and the need for treatment can vary with the patient’s daily activities.

Optimal treatment ideally requires support from a movement disorder-specialized neurologist. This is a rare competence: Availability differs from region to region, and from country to country.

The ANLIVA platform will provide cost-effective assistance for precision treatment adjustments. Our clinical biomarkers are based on automatic measurements of Parkinson’s disease-related symptoms. This allows ANLIVA to provide objective treatment decision support. Patients can also gain a better, up-to-date insight into how their treatment is working.