Priorities in Parkinson's disease research

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2011 May;10(5):377-93. doi: 10.1038/nrd3430.


The loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta leads to the characteristic motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease: bradykinesia, rigidity and resting tremors. Although these symptoms can be improved using currently available dopamine replacement strategies, there is still a need to improve current strategies of treating these symptoms, together with a need to alleviate non-motor symptoms of the disease. Moreover, treatments that provide neuroprotection and/or disease-modifying effects remain an urgent unmet clinical need. This Review describes the most promising biological targets and therapeutic agents that are currently being assessed to address these treatment goals. Progress will rely on understanding genetic mutations or susceptibility factors that lead to Parkinson's disease, better translation between preclinical animal models and clinical research, and improving the design of future clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiparkinson Agents / pharmacology*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / methods
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Drug Design
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Humans
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Dopamine