Parkinson's disease: from causes to mechanisms

C R Biol. 2005 Feb;328(2):131-42. doi: 10.1016/j.crvi.2004.10.009.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common age-related, progressive neurodegenerative disease of unknown etiology. Environmental factors have long been suspected to participate in the pathogenesis of PD due to the existence of neurotoxins that preferentially damage the dopaminergic nigrostriatal pathway. In the past few years, novel insights into the degenerative process have been provided by the discovery of genes responsible for rare monogenic parkinsonian syndromes. Compelling evidence is accumulating, suggesting that the products of several of these genes can interact with environmental toxins and intervene in molecular pathways controlling the functional integrity of mitochondria.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Corpus Striatum / physiopathology
  • Dopamine / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / pathology
  • Mitochondria / physiology
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Parkinson Disease / etiology
  • Parkinson Disease / genetics
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Substantia Nigra / physiopathology
  • Synucleins
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / genetics


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Synucleins
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • parkin protein
  • Dopamine