Skip Navigation

Deputy CEO at the Michael J Fox Foundation, Sohini Chowdhury, talks about finding a cure for Parkinson’s and exciting research developments

Scientific advances that could make a “substantial impact on a person’s day-to-day experience” of Parkinson’s could be just a few years away, Sohini Chowdhury, Deputy CEO at the Michael J Fox Foundation told our sister publication, Parkinson’s Life, in a recent interview.

Portrait of MJFF CEO Sohini Chowdhuri
Sohini Chowdhury

Asked how close scientists are to finding a cure for Parkinson’s, Chowdhury said: “It’s important to remember that a cure can mean different things to different people. If you’re able to improve the symptom management of the disease to an extent where having the disease has very little impact on your day-to-day life, that could be considered a cure. If you’re able to slow or halt the disease progression so that the moment you get diagnosed, it never progresses beyond that point but you’re still taking a pill every day for the rest of your life, that could be a cure.”

She added: “We’re talking about advances that could really make a substantial impact on a person’s day-to-day experience of the disease being a few years out.”

Chowdhury also emphasised how much Parkinson’s can vary from one person to the next, meaning more than one cure may be required. As a result, many new therapies are being developed which is “potentially really beneficial for the patient community”.

The evolution of “personalised medicine” is another exciting development that could have a big impact for PwPs, said Chowdhury.

“Right now, it’s very much focused on genetics underpinning Parkinson’s disease, and there are quite a few clinical trials looking at therapies targeted for particular groups who have a genetic mutation. That’s the first step. The second step is taking that data, and understanding what it could mean for a broader patient community who may not have that genetic mutation.”

Technology is also playing a greater role, both in research and treating people with Parkinson’s (PwPs), particularly since the COVID-19 emergency began, says Chowdhury.

“In the US, we’ve also seen the embrace of telemedicine as a way to continue to think about managing care. I think all of these experiences, coupled with ongoing advances in sensor technologies or smartphone apps, really show us the way technology can ease the burden, both of managing the disease and participating in research.”

Looking forward, she said that scientists want to find out more about the pre-symptom, pre-diagnosis stage of Parkinson’s, with a view to preventing it from developing altogether.

Finally, Chowdhury is encouraging PwPs to take part in research if they do not already. “There’s such an important role for the patient community to play in getting engaged with the search.”

open quote

We’re talking about advances that could really make a substantial impact on a person’s day-to-day experience of the disease being a few years out

close quote

Read the full story at Parkinson’s Life.

Further reading:

How do you feel about taking part in Parkinson’s research? Email and tell us your stories.

Parkinson's Europe is sharing this article for information purposes only; it does not represent Parkinson's Europe's views and is not an endorsement by Parkinson's Europe of any particular treatments, therapies or products.

Share this page

Back to top