Novel models for Parkinson's disease and their impact on future drug discovery

Expert Opin Drug Discov. 2018 Mar;13(3):229-239. doi: 10.1080/17460441.2018.1428556. Epub 2018 Jan 24.


Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects millions of elderly individuals worldwide. Despite intensive efforts dedicated to find a better treatment, the pathogenesis of Parkinson's Disease remains unknown. In search for a better therapy for the disease, several new in vivo and in vitro models of Parkinson´s disease have been developed in recent times. Areas covered: The authors provide an outline of the various traditional models of Parkinson´s disease and address those that have been recently generated. They also discuss the utility of these models for the identification of drugs of potential therapeutic value for Parkinson´s Disease patients. From the cell based models and the well-known toxin-based animal models, to the recent genetic models and the increasingly used non-mammalian models, every model is worthwhile in the search for a better Parkinson´s Disease therapy. Expert opinion: Almost 60 years after its discovery, levodopa is still the gold standard treatment for Parkinson's Disease patients. It seems unlikely that a single model can fully recapitulate the complexity of Parkinson's Disease in the same way it appears improbable that a unique treatment could relieve both the motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's Disease altogether. Therefore treatment will probably require a combination of therapies.

Keywords: Animal models; Parkinson´s disease; non-motor symptoms; synuclein; therapies; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Antiparkinson Agents / pharmacology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Design
  • Drug Discovery / methods*
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / pharmacology
  • Models, Biological
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Levodopa