Introduction: Despite several available therapeutic options to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), there are currently no agents that halt or slow the progression of disease. Istradefylline is a selective adenosine A(2A) antagonist that is currently of interest for the treatment of motor complications in PD.
Areas covered: This paper reviews the limitations of currently available treatment options and discusses the results seen in both animal models and human clinical trials that have explored the benefits of istradefylline in PD.
Expert opinion: The studies outlined continue to suggest that istradefylline may be a promising non-dopaminergic therapy for the treatment of PD. It has not been proven to be more efficacious than other currently available dopaminergic drugs, nor has it been shown to be of significant benefit as monotherapy; however, it seems to be a safe and well-tolerated drug that may help with wearing-off fluctuations. Istradefylline is not yet an FDA-approved drug. At this time, the potential for approval in the US or through the European Medical Agency remains unknown.