Neurologist Alexander Pantelyat recaps the Movement Disorder Special Interest Group Overview from the American Neurological Association 2020 Virtual Meeting. The overview focused on developments in genetics, the mechanistic understanding and the treatments that are on the horizon for patients who suffer from movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and inherited spinocerebellar ataxias.
Hello. My name is Alex Pantalla and I'm an assistant professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the Movement Disorders Division. This year, it was my honor and pleasure to co chair the Movement Disorders Special Interest Group session at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association. My co chair this year was Dr Anne Marie Wills from the Massachusetts General Hospital. Our goal this year was to update the viewers and listeners on the exciting developments in the genetics, the mechanistic understanding and, um, treatments that are coming down the pike for Parkinson disease and related disorders for Huntington Disease. And for the inherited spinosaurus Beller, it's access. So we had a theme pertaining to genetics this year. To lead off, we had the wonderful speaker, Dr Sonia Schultz, who runs it your genetics laboratory of the N. H. And is also an adjunct the System professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins. Given update on the genetics of Parkinson disease, I should also mention that Dr Schultz was honored with the prestigious Soriano lecture given by a brilliant young research scientist at the A the same year. Um, Dr Schultz emphasized that while only about 10% of Parkinson disease has a currently identified single gene cause or mono genic inheritance. Between 30 and 40% of Parkinson disease has an important genetic contribution through small changes across a multitude of different genes. In addition, Dr Blair leave, it gave a wonderful update on the exciting advances in the mechanistic understanding of Huntington disease, which is a genetic disorder. Uh, Huntington Disease currently lacks meaningful disease, modifying or slowing treatments, but their number of exciting developments on the horizons, including antisense alga, nuclear treatment and micro Renee treatment approaches. These are currently in, uh, increasingly advancing clinical trials, and this is truly an exciting time. In the research for Huntington Disease, Dr Vikram shocked. I gave an update on the spinal Sir Bellary taxes, which is an inherited group of disorders there over 40 of them in existence. And he emphasized that common mechanisms exist across multiple forms of Spicer Bellary taxes for, for instance, the functioning of iron channels in these diseases is often abnormal. So this holds promise that if we're able to find a way to address the function of one of these iron channels, potentially we may improve symptoms in the future for multiple types of Spicer Bellary taxes. To summarize, I want to emphasize that as a result of our movement disorder specialist group session, it became clear that their common approaches mechanism based approaches that hold sway across multiple types of movement disorders. And there's tremendous promise in these approaches across multiple disease states to hopefully enter the clinic soon and meaningful lee improve the quality of life for our patients with movement disorders.