Dr. Daniela Berg is Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Germany and Medical Director of the Clinic of Neurology at the University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel. Currently she is serving as member of several task forces and as member of the International Executive Committee of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society. Together with Dr. Ron Postuma, Professor Berg chaired the Movement Disorder Task Force on the „Definition of Parkinson’s Disease“. She is Associate Editor of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, member of the Editorial Board of Movement Disorders Clinical Practice and Neurological Research and Practice and Funding-Co-Editor of DGNeurologie.
Her major research interests are the early and differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders, particularly the detection and validation of risk and biomarkers for diagnosis and progression of Parkinsons’s disease and the characterization of specific endophenotypes for this neurodegenerative disorder. The desire to find better treatment options for those affected by Parkinson’s disease led her to be principal investigator of many clinical studies. Her scientific contribution to the field can be found in more than 400 peer reviewed manuscripts to which she contributed as author or co-author.
Reduced Penetrance in light of prodromal signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
The long prodromal period of Parkinson’s disease (PD) provides a perfect clinical opportunity to study factors influencing penetrance in individuals with mutations associated with PD.
Increasing knowledge on likelihood ratios of clinical markers may give helpful hints to estimate whether the neurodegenerative process has started in a mutation carrier. So far, however, it is not clear, whether and when an individual with a specific mutation will develop motor symptoms allowing to establish a diagnosis of PD. Longitudinal follow up, addition of non-clinical markers and assessments of additional genetic and epigenetic, geographic, life-style etc. factors, as well as a better understanding of concomitant diseases and medication will shed light onto a better comprehension of reduced penetrance. This in turn will further help to set the stage for interventions in the prodromal stage – causal with regard to specific mutations as well as via manipulation of factors which may be influenced, with the final aim of preventing PD.