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Pharmacological strategies for Parkinson’s disease

Pharmacological strategies for Parkinson’s disease
Open Access

November 2012
García-Montes J-R, Boronat-García A, Drucker-Colín R


Parkinson’s disease (PD) or Paralysis Agitans was first formally described in “An essay on the shaking palsy”, published in 1817 by a British physician named James Parkinson. 

In the late 1950’s, dopamine was related with the function of the corpus striatum, thus with the control of motor function. But it was not until 1967, when the landmark study of George C. Cotzias, demonstrated that oral L-DOPA, the precursor of dopamine metabolism, was shown to induce remission of PD symptoms, that the definitive association between the two was firmly established. 

However, later on L-DOPA treatment began to show a loss of effectiveness and demonstrated to induce a variety of undesirable effects, the most prominent being diskinesia. As a result of this, a variety of alternative or complementary pharmacological strategies have been developed. 

In this chapter we review the wide variety of strategies that have been used through time, which are geared toward reducing the most disabling symptoms of PD. We additionally make some suggestions as to which are the most promising ones.