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Course Information


Innovations and advances in the field of PD—including evaluation, treatment, and prevention—continue to occur at a rapid pace, challenging both specialists and generalists to stay abreast of the changes, creating gaps in knowledge, competence, and practice among health care providers. In many cases, the data are not clear regarding the clinical implications. In turn, this creates a pressing educational activity focused on providing updates and critical analyses of both the pros and cons of the most recent advances in the care of patients with PD.


After completing this educational activity, participants will be able to do the following:

  • Discuss the role of alpha-synuclein in the initiation of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurodegeneration, and whether its presence is a defining feature of PD.
  • Describe the sensitivity and specificity of skin biopsies in detecting alpha synuclein pathology and the challenges to their use in the diagnosis of early PD.
  • Summarize the treatment outcomes of deep brain stimulation and other device-aided therapies in patients with various genetic profiles of monogenic parkinsonism.
  • Detail the progress made in the use of various stem-cell based treatments as a useful regenerative therapy for PD, and the promise that they hold in the future.
  • Describe the shortcomings of epidemiology and clinical research design and discuss possible study designs that can be used for evaluating new approaches to disease-modifying therapies for PD.
  • Critically assess the potential benefits of cannabis in treating PD- related tremor, anxiety, pain, and improvement of sleep quality and quality of life, as well as the quality of evidence to support each.
  • Recognize key clinical and pathologic features of various atypical parkinsonian disorders, including those based on tissue and imaging biomarkers that may permit earlier and more selective treatment options for each.
  • List and assess the investigational agents that hold the most promise to reduce symptom burden in PD and the research describing their efficacy.
  • Discuss optimal use of infusion therapies in advanced PD management.
  • Summarize the progress made in imaging techniques, hardware, lead design, and software that have enabled newer programming strategies to improve the efficacy of deep brain stimulation for PD while minimizing stimulation-induced side effects.
  • Evaluate the evidence to support behavioral and cognitive therapies to treat common psychiatric symptoms in PD.


This educational activity is intended for neurologists, neurosurgeons, nurse practitioners, nurses, residents, fellows, and other health care professionals who treat patients with Parkinson’s Disease.