Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013-16 Sheryl Jedlinski
As we prepare to ring in the New Year, I am hopeful that 2015 will bring us closer than ever to new treatments and drug delivery methods that could potentially slow or halt the progression of Parkinson’s disease. A long-awaited vaccine is showing positive results in phase one clinical trials assessing its safety and tolerability. At the same time, researchers continue to identify drugs that could potentially improve quality of life issues — like motor fluctuations and involuntary movements (dyskinesia) — for those living with PD today. Some 37 new PD drugs are either in clinical trials or awaiting review by the Food and Drug Administration.
The onus for accelerating the movement of promising new drugs from the lab to pharmacy shelves rests on the shoulders of people with Parkinson’s. Our participation in clinical trials is essential to testing the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of potential new treatments. Currently, more than half of trials worldwide are delayed due to difficulties recruiting and retaining the required number of participants. We can change this if each of us steps up and does our part.
While there are many reasons to be hopeful going forward, it is difficult to remain positive on days when my body refuses to take direction from my brain and operates independently instead. But then I look around and am inspired by friends who have battled their way back from the edge of the abyss: from surgeries that left them unable to walk or talk, from repeated falls, and from exhausting dyskinesia. If one of us can do it, we all can.
Hope is nurtured by our refusal to give up, and our belief that the next clinical trial we join or alternative therapy we try, may lead to the cure. Hope is what makes life with PD bearable.
Wishing you good health and much happiness in 2015!