The pharmacological management of Parkinson's disease is a complex and dynamic task; there is no one 'fight' strategy indicating which drugs should be used at a particular stage of the disease. There are now many different drugs belonging to several classes that may be effective, and there are still differences of opinion among leading clinicians about the best course of treatment. This review focuses on drug therapy for the motor impairment in Parkinson's disease. Current and future research directions are summarised by taking inventory of recent and innovative areas of development in the field, representing each category with at least one of its featured treatments. The main research efforts are being directed towards delaying the use of levodopa or finding therapies to be used as adjunct to it, in order to postpone motor complications and, in particular, dyskinesias. One of the recent trends is early employment of dopamine agonists. Additional efforts are being directed towards protecting and restoring dopamine neurons. Novel therapies acting on non-dopaminergic systems are also being researched.
|National Institutes of Health