Novel pharmacological targets for the treatment of Parkinson's disease

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2006 Oct;5(10):845-54. doi: 10.1038/nrd2087.


Dopamine deficiency, caused by the degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons, is the cause of the major clinical motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease. These symptoms can be treated successfully with a range of drugs that include levodopa, inhibitors of the enzymatic breakdown of levodopa and dopamine agonists delivered by oral, subcutaneous, transcutaneous, intravenous or intra-duodenal routes. However, Parkinson's disease involves degeneration of non-dopaminergic neurons and the treatment of the resulting predominantly non-motor features remains a challenge. This review describes the important recent advances that underlie the development of novel dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic drugs for Parkinson's disease, and also for the motor complications that arise from the use of existing therapies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine A2 Receptor Antagonists
  • Antiparkinson Agents / pharmacology
  • Antiparkinson Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cholinergic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dopamine Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Narcotic Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Serotonin Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists / therapeutic use


  • Adenosine A2 Receptor Antagonists
  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Cholinergic Agents
  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Serotonin Antagonists
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists