Novel Pharmacotherapies in Parkinson’s Disease

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Parkinson’s disease (PD), an age-related progressive neurodegenerative condition, is associated with loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc), which results in motor deficits characterized by the following: akinesia, rigidity, resting tremor, and postural instability, as well as nonmotor symptoms such as emotional changes, particularly depression, cognitive impairment, gastrointestinal, and autonomic dysfunction. The most common treatment for PD is focused on dopamine (DA) replacement (e.g., levodopa = L-Dopa), which unfortunately losses its efficacy over months or years and can induce severe dyskinesia. Hence, more efficacious interventions without such adverse effects are urgently needed. In this review, following a general description of PD, potential novel therapeutic interventions for this devastating disease are examined. Specifically, the focus is on nicotine and nicotinic cholinergic system, as well as butyrate, a short chain fatty acid (SCFA), and fatty acid receptors.

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