Rajesh Pahwa: Developing New Treatments for Parkinson's Psychosis

MAY 19, 2016
MD Magazine Staff


Up until recently there had been no approved treatment methods for patients diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease psychosis or treatment options for patients. This changed recently with the approval of pimavanserin.

Rajesh Pahwa, M.D., of the University of Kansas Medical Center, discussed the use of anti-psychotics for the treatment of Parkinson’s psychosis during the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting in Vancouver prior to the drug's approval. Pahwa said that the anti-psychotics for dementia, for example, are not necessarily a treatment for a Parkinson’s psychosis.

“They not only affect dopamine but they also affect other neuro-transmittors,” Pahwa said.

Pahwa also discussed access to treatment, and how a patient from a rural center versus a research center might have difficulty, such as finding a specialist who treats Parkinson’s psychosis and other Parkinson’s symptoms, compared to a general practitioner.

However, Pahwa said a general neurologist can often prescribe some of the same treatments as a Parkinson’s specialist, and often with the same monitoring.

He said the future of treatment needs to expand the number of options, and furthermore, many patients respond differently, so efficacy and expansion of treatments is needed.



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