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MDS 2021 | The need to progress beyond clinical subgrouping of patients with movement disorders

Alice Chen-Plotkin, MD, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, highlights the importance of going beyond the subgrouping of patients with movement disorders solely based on their clinical manifestations. Although the clinical symptoms of a neurological condition relate to the dysfunction of specific brain areas, the underlying biology responsible for the dysfunction can vary from patient to patient. Frontotemporal dementia exemplifies this, with behavior and language deficits resulting from progressive neuronal loss in the frontal and temporal lobes, but the disease may be caused by the accumulation of TDP-43 or tau protein. Dr Chen-Plotkin stresses that it is not enough to subgroup patients based on their clinical phenotype and that one’s underlying pathology should be considered. This interview took place during the 2021 International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders.