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MDS 2021 | Future avenues of precision medicine in Parkinson’s: predicting impulse control disorders

Alice Chen-Plotkin, MD, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, provides an insight into precision medicine approaches under investigation in Parkinson’s disease (PD). One interesting line of investigation aims to establish a tool to predict the development of impulse control disorders (ICDs) in patients treated with dopamine agonists. Triggering an ICD in a patient subjects them to a complicated and time-consuming process of withdrawing treatment and starting a new treatment regimen with levodopa. Thus, predicting the likelihood of developing an ICD in a patient with PD could bypass this process. Dr Chen-Plotkin details the development of a genetic and clinical predictor that uses single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and clinical variables to risk stratify patients. There is also a gap in our understanding of delaying or preventing cognitive decline and dementia in patients with PD. Post-mortem examination of brain tissue from patients with a primary diagnosis of PD indicates that a large proportion of patients also develop Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology. Dr Chen-Plotkin outlines work aiming to stratify patients according to their chance of developing AD pathology. This interview took place during the 2021 International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders.