Treatment options for Parkinson's disease

Ron Tintner, Joseph Jankovic

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: Parkinson's disease is a common neurodegenerative disorder. Clinical trials designed to assess the safety and efficacy of novel neuroprotective as well as symptomatic medical and surgical strategies are being performed to increase and enhance treatment options. The purpose of this review is to summarize these therapeutic options, emphasizing reports published in the last year. Recent findings: Experimental therapeutics in Parkinson's disease has focused on prevention of levodopa complications, treatment of dyskinesias associated with levodopa therapy, surgical intervention and neuroprotection. Summary: There are at least four important implications of the recent therapeutic trials: (1) the incidence of levodopa-related dyskinesias decreases as a result of initial use of dopamine agonists; (2) surgery, primarily in the form of the bilateral, high-frequency stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus, is highly effective in patients who are responsive to levodopa but experience marked motor fluctuation or other complications; (3) while neuroprotection has not yet been demonstrated with any currently used therapeutic agent, improved understanding of mechanisms of cell death will undoubtedly result in the discovery of new drugs with potential disease-modifying effects; and (4) implantation of fetal mesencephalon tissue and other grafts may be effective in younger patients with Parkinson's disease, but is associated with significant complications and remains experimental.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-476
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent opinion in neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 10 2002


  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Levodopa
  • Neuroprotection
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Surgery
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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