What progress is there in diagnosis and treatment of brain disorders like alzheimer's and parkinson's?

Lots of research. There are vigorous efforts to understand these illnesses and we are making gains. It is not clear if there will be major breakthroughs soon though.
Improving accuracy. There are ongoing research projects to improve diagnotic accuracy such as pet scan, biomarkers and education. However for treaments, there are no cure. It is simply slow down the progression of symptoms.

Related Questions

Could deep brain stimulation develop to become a cure for diseases such as alzheimer's and parkinson's?

Control measure. Dbs is not a cure currently and doubtful it will be a panacea. Yet, valuable when meds start failing in parkinson's but not yet in use for alzheimer's. Read more...
Watch for updates. Dbs for alzheimer's is a field with a lot of research being done. It is hard to predict what will be the outcome. There are some preliminary data from hopkins that shows promise. There is also a big initiative to study this further and there are formal clinical trials in the works. Read more...
No. DBS just modifies the neural circuitry to optimize the output of brain. It does not affect the genes or cells on a structural level. Cell based therapies in future could cure these diseases. Read more...

How risky is deep brain stimulation therapy/surgery? My father is considered a candidate but he is unsure. My father is diagnosed with Parkinson's and altzheimers and is 78 years old. He has done all the neurological testing and is now considered a cand

DBS . Dbs surgery is usually performed by subspecialty neurosurgeons (called functional neurosurgeons) who work in close conjunction with a neurology team (movement disorder neurologists). This surgery is technically quite elaborate and requires a good team approach and a close and personal contact with the patient. You should make sure that 1) the center of your choice has ample experience in this field 2) the team managing your father is readily available and offeres 24/7 coverage 3) there is a movement disorder patient group available that has experience with this , which may provide a good resource to you. The surgical aspect is considered "low risk" if done well, and carries the ususal risk of brain surgery (infection/bleeding/wound healing difficulties/fluid leak) and in rare cases also strokes or anesthesia related problems. The device works well for several years, until the pulse generator battery needs to be changed. Complication rates correlate to the volume and experience of the surgical team, and you should ask about this locally - but do not be afraid, it is considered a rather safe surgery, when done well. Read more...
Minimal Risk. The deep brain stimulation (dbs) surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that is done under light sedation. As with all surgeries there are the risks of bleeding and infection to be considered, but the anesthetic risks are minimal. Even though your father has the added complication of alzheimer's disease he should tolerate this procedure fairly well. Contact your anesthesiologist before case. Read more...