Focus on illness that affects one million Americans
DANVILLE, PA – Geisinger investigator Janet Robishaw, Ph.D., has received a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study a key signaling pathway that is dysfunctional in Parkinson’s disease.
In the United States alone, this disorder affects one million patients who experience a host of motor symptoms, including tremor, general reduction voluntary movements (bradykinesia), and rigidity.
For Parkinson’s patients and their families, the quality of life is greatly reduced and the economic impact is estimated at $25 billion per year. Current treatment options show limited effectiveness. Although dopamine replacement therapy improves the motor symptoms, prolonged treatment often produces uncontrolled movements (dyskinesia) and altered intellectual functions.
By capitalizing on her discovery of a new mechanism to regulate movement, Dr. Robishaw said the goal of this study is to develop a more targeted, effective treatment for this debilitating disorder.
“Our finding also has important implications for treatment for learning disorders and addictive behaviors,” Dr. Robishaw, associate director and senior scientist at Geisinger Health System’s Weis Center for Research, said.
Identifying mechanism-based diagnoses and treatments represent dual goals of the precision medicine initiative instituted by the Geisinger learning health system to improve the overall health of affected patients.
Geisinger is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record and the development of innovative care delivery models such as ProvenHealth Navigator®, ProvenCare® and ProvenExperience®. As one of the nation’s largest health service organizations, Geisinger serves more than 3 million residents throughout 45 counties in central, south-central and northeast Pennsylvania, and also in southern New Jersey at AtlantiCare, a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient. In 2017, the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital became the newest members of the Geisinger Family. The physician-led system is comprised of approximately 30,000 employees, including nearly 1,600 employed physicians, 13 hospital campuses, two research centers, and a 583,000-member health plan, all of which leverage an estimated $12.7 billion positive impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Geisinger has repeatedly garnered national accolades for integration, quality and service. In addition to fulfilling its patient care mission, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.