The next frontier of precision medicine: Parkinson’s disease

The newly launched Molecular Integration in Neurological Diagnosis (MIND) Initiative introduces precision medicine to Parkinson’s disease research. Precision medicine allows physicians to provide the most tailored diagnostic tools and treatments for patients. By knowing the nature of a disease with molecular-level accuracy, doctors can treat the root cause. Researchers will work to uncover why within Parkinson’s disease, some patients barely progress over a two-year span, where others will have symptoms of Parkinson’s that progress more quickly.

Alice Chen-Plotkin, the Parker Family Associate Professor of Neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine

The MIND Initiative, led by Alice Chen-Plotkin, the Parker Family Associate Professor of Neurology, will collect medical information such as family history and personal symptoms of Parkinson’s as well as a blood sample from participants. The purpose is to find out how each subject’s genetic make-up can be analyzed to improve a clinician’s ability to diagnose Parkinson’s and select the right type of therapy for each individual.

“We have long recognized that no two people with Parkinson’s are alike. Patients have big differences in their symptoms, responses to medications, and to the side effects of treatment,” says Chen-Plotkin. “This new initiative aims to define groups of patients based on how one’s genes or other biomarkers contribute to these differences, and to improve the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and develop better treatments in the future.”

Read more at Penn Medicine News.