Cannabinoid receptor as a potential therapeutic target for Parkinson's Disease

Brain Res Bull. 2019 Mar;146:244-252. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2019.01.016. Epub 2019 Jan 18.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disease, characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons from substantia nigra pars compacta of basal ganglia caused due to gene mutation, misfolded protein aggregation, reactive oxygen species generation and inflammatory stress. Degeneration of dopaminergic neurons results in muscle stiffness, uncoordinated body movements, sleep disturbance, fatigue, amnesia and impaired voice. Currently, levodopa (L-DOPA) administration is the most widely used therapy for PD. But prolonged administration of L-DOPA is associated with the symptoms of dyskinesia. However, emerging evidences suggest the role of cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) in curtailing the progression of PD by activating neuroprotective pathways. Hence, cannabinoid therapy could be a promising alternative to combat PD in future. In the present review we have discussed the potential role of CBRs in attenuating the key mechanisms of PD and how the existing research gaps needs to be bridged in order to understand the molecular mechanism of CBRs in detail.

Keywords: Cannabinoid receptor; Neuroprotection; Parkinson’s disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cannabinoids / therapeutic use*
  • Dopaminergic Neurons / metabolism
  • Endocannabinoids / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism
  • Parkinson Disease / pathology
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid / physiology


  • Cannabinoids
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid
  • Levodopa