Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 350–358

Neuroinflammation and Non-motor Symptoms: The Dark Passenger of Parkinson’s Disease?


  • Christopher J. Barnum
    • Department of PhysiologySchool of Medicine at Emory University
    • Department of PhysiologySchool of Medicine at Emory University
    • Emory University School of Medicine
Movement Disorders (SA Factor, Section Editor)

DOI: 10.1007/s11910-012-0283-6

Cite this article as:
Barnum, C.J. & Tansey, M.G. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep (2012) 12: 350. doi:10.1007/s11910-012-0283-6


Generally speaking, inflammation as a key piece to the Parkinson’s disease (PD) puzzle is a relatively new concept. Acceptance of this concept has gained ground as studies by various researchers have demonstrated the potential of mitigating nigral cell death by curtailing inflammation in animal models of PD. We propose that the significance of inflammation in PD pathology may extend beyond the nigrostriatal region. In the current review, we present an argument for this based on the Braak staging and discuss how inflammation might contribute to the development of non-motor PD symptoms.


Parkinson’s disease Braak staging Inflammation Interleukin-1/-6 Tumor necrosis factor-α Non-motor symptoms Depression Cognitive deficits Gastrointestinal tract Sleep Psychosis LRRK2 Parkin Lewy body Substantia nigra HLA-DRA Helicobacter pylori Lipopolysaccharide Alzheimer’s disease Arthritis Microglia H5N1 Crohn’s disease Cytokines

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012