Treatment strategies for Parkinson’s disease.

Neurosci Bull. 2010 Feb; 26(1) : 66-76.
Treatment strategies for Parkinson’s disease.

Yuan H, Zhang ZW, Liang LW, Shen Q, Wang XD, Ren SM, Ma HJ, Jiao SJ, Liu P.
Department of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, the General Hospital of Chinese People’s Armed Police Forces , Beijing 100039, China. blsphd2005@126.com

Abstract
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is caused by progressive degeneration of dopamine (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc), resulting in the deficiency of DA in the striatum. Thus, symptoms are developed, such as akinesia, rigidity and tremor. The aetiology of neuronal death in PD still remains unclear. Several possible mechanisms of the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons are still elusive. Various mechanisms of neuronal degeneration in PD have been proposed, including formation of free radicals, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, excitotoxicity, calcium cytotoxicity, trophic factor deficiency, inflammatory processes, genetic factors, environmental factors, toxic action of nitric oxide, and apoptosis. All these factors interact with each other, inducing a vicious cycle of toxicity causing neuronal dysfunction, atrophy and finally cell death. Considerable evidence suggests that free radicals and oxidative stress may play key roles in the pathogenesis of PD. However, currently, drug therapy cannot completely cure the disease. DA replacement therapy with levodopa (L-Dopa), although still being a gold standard for symptomatic treatment of PD, only alleviates the clinical symptoms. Furthermore, patients usually experience severe side effects several years after the LDopa treatment. Until now, no therapy is available to stop or at least slow down the neurodegeneration in patients. Therefore, efforts are made not only to improve the effect of L-Dopa treatment for PD, but also to investigate new drugs with both antiparkinsonian and neuroprotective effects. Here, the advantages and limitations of current and future therapies for PD were discussed. Current therapies include dopaminergic therapy, DA agonists, MAO-B inhibitor, COMT inhibitors, anticholinergic drugs, surgical procedures such as pallidotomy and more specifically deep brain stimulation of the globus pallidus pars interna (GPi) or subthalamic nucleus (STN), and stem cell transplantation.

PMID: 20101274 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]