Management of Parkinson's disease a review of current and new therapies

Can J Neurol Sci. 1999 May;26(2):89-103.


The management of Parkinson's disease has undergone recent changes with the advent of new therapies, both pharmacotherapy and surgery. Available interventions are discussed. Levodopa remains the mainstay of therapy. New drugs include the dopamine agonists and COMT inhibitors. New dopamine agonists which may have a levodopa "sparing effect;" it has been suggested that some of the drugs should be considered as first line treatments for newly diagnosed Parkinson's disease patients. We review roles of these drugs. The concept of neuroprotection in neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease became popular in the mid 1980s and it is hoped that eventually therapy will be directed at slowing progression of the disease. A great deal more work needs to be done before a suitable agent is identified as being neuroprotective. Potential neuroprotective agents are reviewed. Surgical therapies for Parkinson's disease consisting of various forms of lesion surgery as well as stimulation procedures are reviewed. Complications of drug therapy include motor problems such as motor response fluctuations, as well as psychiatric complications including levodopa-induced psychosis. Atypical neuroleptic agents and ECT for psychiatric syndromes associated with Parkinson's disease are discussed. Algorithms for the management of early disease as well as the management of psychosis in Parkinson's disease are included. Treatment options for advanced disease are tabulated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiparkinson Agents / adverse effects
  • Antiparkinson Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / therapy*
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / therapy
  • Humans
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Parkinson Disease / surgery
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*
  • Psychoses, Substance-Induced / etiology
  • Psychoses, Substance-Induced / therapy


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Neuroprotective Agents