Article

How to treat Parkinson’s disease in 2013

Department of Neurology, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust.
Clinical medicine (London, England) (Impact Factor: 1.69). 02/2013; 13(1):93-6. DOI: 10.7861/clinmedicine.13-1-93
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Parkinson's disease is a common, progressive, debilitating disease with substantial physical, psychological and social implications. Pharmacological management is complex and should be individualised according to the needs of the patient. In early disease, treatment is generally highly effective, but medication becomes increasingly inadequate in controlling motor fluctuations and dyskinesias as the disease progresses. Non-motor symptoms, especially depression and dementia, require a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to maximise quality of life for patients and their carers. For the future, the ideal solution remains neuroprotection and restoration. Progress has been hampered by the lack of animal models that reflect the widespread brain pathology presumed to cause both motor and non-motor symptoms of PD in humans. Currently, agents are undergoing clinical trials in early, mildly affected patients, such as the plant-derived substance PYM50028 (Cogane), which promotes expression of endogenous neural growth factors and has shown promise in vitro and in animal models. Gene-therapy trials in progress rely on the viral vectors used to deliver the enzymatic machinery required for dopamine synthesis to the striatum. As PD progresses, adequate control of motor symptoms depends increasingly on continuous drug delivery, and greater physiological stimulation of dopamine receptors may help to prevent the development of LIDs and motor fluctuations. Efforts thus are afoot to develop better delivery systems for levodopa, and a new sustained-release formulation is in development.

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