Parkinson: 200 years in 200 words
Essay on the Shaking Palsy " would change his understanding of what is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. Much has been advanced in these 200 years, but certainly the synthesis of levodopa was the greatest revolution in the treatment of this disease so far. Since then, we have discovered that Parkinson's disease goes far beyond "tremor" in the hands, highlighting the so-called "non-motor" symptoms such as sleep and bowel disorders; we discovered more than a dozen genes implicated in the disease, discovered other medications as dopaminergic agonists, and Parkinson's surgery with electrode implant in the brain has become safe and very effective for selected patients. Of course a lot is yet to come. Soon, for example, we'll have a formulation of levodopa in the form of a nasal spray.
In these 10 years working as a neurologist specializing in neurodegenerative diseases, I learned from my patients countless lessons, especially with my patients with Parkinson's. And perhaps the word that best summarizes what to expect in the next 200 years is hope.
But let it arrive well before ...
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