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With all its variability of symptoms and progression, is Parkinson's one disease or many?
"I think there is no one answer to that question," says Zoltan Mari, MD, interim director of the Parkinson's and Movement Disorder Center at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. "Clinically there is heterogeneity. Patients may be tremor dominant; they may be more rigid. The prognosis varies across a significantly wide spectrum."
Researchers are taking note of the variability and studying different causes and clinical appearance to develop new treatments.
"If you could use genetics, if you could use scales ... In this whole complex mash of what works for whom, if we could make sense of that better, you know we don't have to invent the magic, miracle pill to stop Parkinson's if we could just use all the information and apply it to find what works for each individual patient," says Dr. Mari.
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