Call Our HELPLINE: 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636)

The National Parkinson Foundation Announces Initiative to Further Define Stages of Parkinson’s Disease

Currently, there is no one definition of what it means to have advanced Parkinson’s disease

Initiative will support the creation of a tool to help physicians assess changes in the disease

MIAMI, FL — The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF), a division of the Parkinson’s Foundation, is proud to announce a collaboration with The Cure Parkinson’s Trust (CPT), AbbVie, and a steering committee comprised of physicians around the world to create a clinical questionnaire that can be used to define the transition between early/mid Parkinson’s disease (PD) and advanced PD.

Currently, there is no one definition of what it means to have “advanced” PD. For routine clinical practice, current guidelines do not recommend the use of any scales for staging the disease.  Scales used by expert neurologists to measure Parkinson’s symptoms exist, but there is no evidence-based guidance for how to translate scores to a treatment approach.

Hubert Fernandez, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic, said, “By characterizing the profile of patients that an expert neurologist would consider for options beyond first-line oral medications, we can help patients to get the benefits of expert insight even if they can’t make it to a movement disorders center.  We have assembled a strong team of physicians, industry experts and patient advocates sharing the common goal of improving care for people living with Parkinson’s.”

Development of this tool will attempt to standardize care assessment for all medical professionals involved in the identification and treatment of this progressive and disabling neurological disease.

“Research has shown a gulf between expert care and average care.  Together, NPF and AbbVie are working to help identify the criteria that expert neurologists use to evaluate a patient for a change in intervention,” said Peter N. Schmidt, PhD, NPF’s senior vice president, research and professional programs and chief mission officer. “Patients experiencing uncontrolled ‘off’ episodes or other PD symptoms have options.  The goal is to remain one step ahead of disease progression and to help people live well with Parkinson’s.”

The questionnaire will be developed using the following set of criteria:

  1. Describe the phases of PD that links the patient’s status to a stage-appropriate set of potential treatments.
  2. Be based on a simple screening approach that can be used to evaluate patients in any clinical setting.
  3. Be dynamic and updatable to reflect the latest PD guidelines and treatment options.  

“AbbVie is committed to improving the lives of patients living with Parkinson’s disease through the advancement of medical science and education,” said Michael Norton, vice president of U.S. Medical Affairs, AbbVie. “Our partnership in this initiative is a reflection of that commitment and will help bridge a currently unfilled gap in patient care.”

This tool for clinical evaluation will initially be piloted at NPF Centers of Excellence participating in the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project, the largest clinical study of PD in the world.  It will be available to all clinicians in the second half of 2017.

About Parkinson's Disease (PD)
Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects one million people in the US and over 10 million worldwide.  Parkinson's is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's and is the 14th leading cause of death in the US.  It is associated with a loss of motor control (e.g., shaking or tremor at rest and lack of facial expression) as well as non-motor symptoms (e.g., depression and anxiety A feeling of nervousness, worried thoughts and physical distress.).  Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for Parkinson's disease.

Monday, January 9, 2017
Parkinson’s Foundation Adds John D. Thomopoulos to its Board of Directors
Monday, March 19, 2018

MIAMI & NEW YORK – March 19, 2018 – The Parkinson’s Foundation today announced the election of John D. Thomopoulos to its board of directors. Thomopoulos is a partner at Ernst & Young.

In Memory of Edythe Kay Marsa
Monday, March 12, 2018

The Parkinson’s Foundation mourns the loss of emeritus board member, Edythe (Edy) Kay Marsa. From 1993 to 2014, she was a member of the Foundation’s board of directors and served on several committees. Edy is survived by her husband William Marsa, who founded the Herbert Kay Parkinson Chapter in honor of her first husband who passed away due to complications from Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s Foundation Announces New Genetic Initiative Connecting Parkinson’s Genetic Data with Clinical Care
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

MIAMI & NEW YORK—March 6, 2018—The Parkinson’s Foundation today announced a new initiative offering genetic testing and counseling to Parkinson’s patients within its Center of Excellence network.

Delegates From The Parkinson’s Community Converge On Capitol Hill To Advocate For Critical Research Funding
Monday, March 5, 2018

—2018 Parkinson’s Policy Forum Co-Sponsored by the Parkinson’s Foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research—

Parkinson’s Foundation Appoints Jena E. Abernathy to Board of Directors
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

MIAMI – February 27, 2018 –  The Parkinson’s Foundation today announced the election of Jena E. Abernathy to its board of directors.

Parkinson’s Foundation Moving Day Walks Fund Local Parkinson’s Programs in Seven Cities for Spring 2018
Friday, February 16, 2018

NEW YORK & MIAMI, FEBRUARY 16, 2018 — The Parkinson’s Foundation is proud to announce that Moving Day, A Walk for Parkinson’s, has funded more than $17 million in mission services to make life better for people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Terranova’s Stephen Bittel Donates $450,000 to Parkinson’s Foundation to Support Expansion of Centers of Excellence Network
Thursday, February 1, 2018

MIAMI – February 1, 2018 – The Parkinson’s Foundation today announced that Stephen Bittel, chairman and founder of Terranova, has made a $450,000 donation to support the expansion of the foundation’s Centers o

Largest Clinical Study of Parkinson’s Disease Reaches 10,000-Patient Milestone, Reveals Critical Learnings
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

NEW YORK & MIAMI - January 10, 2018 - The Parkinson’s Foundation today announced the enrollment of the 10,000th Parkinson’s patient and the discovery of critical new learnings in what represents the largest clinical study of Parkinson’s disease in history.

Parkinson's Foundation Mourns the Loss of Harold P. Kravitz and His Daughter, the Honorable Shelley J. Kravitz
Friday, January 5, 2018

Today we mourn the loss of two prominent figures in the history of the Parkinson's Foundation: Harold P. Kravitz, Esq. and his daughter, the Honorable Shelley J. Kravitz.

Parkinson's Foundation Mourns the Loss of Robert Burke, MD
Friday, January 5, 2018

The Parkinson’s Foundation mourns the loss of Robert Burke, MD, professor of Neurology at Columbia University, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence. He was a former member of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) Scientific Advisory Board and led the PDF Research Center at Columbia.


mail icon

Subscribe to get the latest news on treatments, research and other updates.