Podcast Episode 32: The Development of the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project

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The mission of the Parkinson’s Foundation is to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Since each person’s experience with PD is unique, a wide range of factors must be evaluated to learn what the most effective treatments are, who can best benefit from each treatment or intervention, and how to help caregivers. Thus, the groundbreaking Parkinson’s Outcomes Project was begun in 2009. Through this study, the Parkinson’s Foundation’s Centers of Excellence track and monitor their care of people with PD over time, from the newly-diagnosed to people who have been living with PD for 20 or more years to develop a comprehensive view of the disease and its impact on people’s lives. The results are shared with health professionals to promote the best possible care for all people with PD.

Fernando Cubillos, Director of Research Programs for the Parkinson’s Foundation, leads the operations of the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project. He shares that, so far, the Parkinson's study has discovered that neuroprotective interventions, such as exercise, can change the course of the disease; that different medicines and treatment plans show vastly different results for different people; that increased physical activity can slow the decline in quality of life; and that regular care by a neurologist can save lives. Importantly, the Parkinson's Outcomes Project has shown that depression and anxiety are the number one factors impacting the overall health of people with Parkinson’s. Dr. Cubillos explains how the study has developed in this podcast.

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About This Episode

Released: July 3, 2018

Fernando Cubillos, MD

Dr. Fernando Cubillos is the Parkinson's Foundation Director of Research Programs, where he leads operations for the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project. He brings to this role seven years of experience with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s registry project, an effort that has revolutionized CF care as profiled by Atul Gawande’s article, The Bell Curve, and has used that experience to help guide the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project. Prior to joining the Parkinson's Foundation, Dr. Cubillos worked for the University of Miami in pulmonary and critical care, where he coordinated in-patient and out-patient clinical trials and trained and supervised clinical and research staff. Trained as a medical doctor and surgeon in Colombia, Dr. Cubillos practiced medicine for 10 years before coming to the U.S.


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