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At the start of each year, it is a useful practise to layout what is planned over the next 12 months. The events that are scheduled for the year to come, so that we can keep an eye out for them. Obviously, where 2021 will end actually is unpredictable, but an outline of what is scheduled over the next 365 days will hopefully provide us with a useful resource for helping to manage expectations.
Here at the SoPD, we are primarily interested in disease modification for Parkinson’s. While there is a great deal of interesting research exploring the causes of the condition, the genetics and biology of the condition, novel symptomatic therapies, and other aspects of Parkinson’s, my primary focus is generally on the science seeking to slow, stop or reverse the condition.
In this post, I will try to map out some of what is scheduled to occur in 2021 with regards to clinical research focused on disease modification for Parkinson’s. I will also note aspects of ongoing research where I will be hoping to see an update on progress. It will be an extremely (read: ridiculously) long post, but it will hopefully give readers a feel for what the landscape looks like for research focused on disease modification for Parkinson’s.
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Cartography is the study and practice of mapping things out. It has been used for centuries to provide graphic representations of what stuff looks like to help us to better understand things.
The word cartography comes from the Greek words χάρτης or chartēs (meaning “papyrus, sheet of paper”) and γράφειν or graphein (meaning “to write”).
According to Wikipedia, the fundamental objectives of traditional cartography are to:
- Set the map’s agenda and select traits of the object to be mapped.
- Represent the terrain of the mapped object on flat media.
- Eliminate characteristics of the mapped object that are not relevant to the map’s purpose.
- Reduce the complexity of the characteristics that will be mapped.
- Orchestrate the elements of the map to best convey its message to its audience.
At the start of each year, the SoPD publishes a horizon scanning post where we take a cartography-like approach towards laying out the landscape of clinical research focused on disease modification for Parkinson’s for the next 12 months.
We try to “set the agenda” and “select traits” to look out for in 2021. We also try to “represent the terrain” and “reduce the complexity of the characteristics” (well,… at least we will try to!) in a manner that will “best convey” to the reader what the next 12 months may look like.
All of this is in an effort in better managing expectations about some of the research results that are coming down the pipe.