The Fox Focus Fall/Winter 2017 - Page 17

Living with Parkinson’s Foundation’s Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative — a landmark, international observational study to validate biomarkers — is helping us get there. (Learn more on page 6.) MEDICATION When Margaret penned her story, medication for PD did not exist! Levodopa’s discovery in 1967 transformed the treatment of PD. Fifty years later, this drug remains one of the most effective treatments for PD, but medication options have increased, and levodopa has been (and continues to be) reformulated to improve delivery options and ease symptoms and potential side effects. The next-generation of levodopa therapies (e.g., inhalers, under-the-skin infusion pumps) could reach market in the next one to two years. (Learn more about these drugs in development on page 8.) SURGERY Perhaps in part because of the lack of medication options, Margaret underwent a thalamotomy — surgery involving the targeted destruction of brain cells contributing to symptoms. While still done in certain situations, these types of surgeries have largely been replaced by deep brain stimulation (DBS), which delivers electrical pulses to the brain to decrease symptoms. DBS isn’t right for everyone, but in the properly selected person, it can ease symptoms, lessen medication requirements and improve quality of life. management of her symptoms. This is one thing that hasn’t changed. Regular exercise remains a vital strategy for managing motor and non-motor symptoms and, in general, for living well with PD. Despite limited scientific understanding of PD during her life, Margaret’s dedication to learning about the disease and her treatment options helped her to set a course for living with Parkinson’s. Today, there are diverse therapeutic options and a robust collection of educational tools for and thanks to an engaged patient communi ty. To learn more about Margaret’s story and watch my interview with, visit EXERCISE Margaret relied on a consistent exercise routine for the The medical information contained in this newsletter is for general information purposes only. The Michael J. Fox Foundation has a policy of refraining from advocating, endorsing or promoting any drug therapy, course of treatment, or specific company or institution. It is crucial that care and treatment decisions related to Parkinson’s disease and any other medical condition be made in consultation with a physician or other qualified medical professional. WHAT IS PARKINSON’S DISEASE? Watch the video and explore the full Parkinson’s 360 multimedia toolkit, including a downloadable book, online resources and short films, that provides honest, relatable information for patients, caregivers and loved ones. One of the challenges of living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) is that there is no “one size fits all” approach to living with PD. Our newest video — “What Is Parkinson’s Disease?” — examines what people with PD have in common and how they can chart their best course for treatment. 17 Fall/Winter 2017