New drugs in the future treatment of Parkinson's disease
During the last few decades, there has been a remarkable progress in our understanding of the biology of Parkinson's disease (PD), which has been translated into the development of numerous antiparkinsonian drugs. There are different therapeutic strategies for patients in an early stage versus patients in a late stage of the disease. The current therapeutic arsenal includes levodopa preparations, MAO-B inhibitors, dopamine agonists, COMT inhibitors and several other compounds that target non-dopaminergic systems. Much interest is focused on the potential neuroprotective effect of the already available drugs, as well as on new research approaches for the development of disease-modifying agents. These include mainly anti-glutamategic compounds, anti-apoptotic and antioxidative agents. Future therapy might include targeted delivery of trophic factors or genes involved in the pathogenesis of the disease. Apart from the classic levodopa-associated motor complications, such as dyskinesias and response fluctuations and psychosis, many other problems of advanced disease should be focused upon and solved including fatigue, freezing of gait, postural instability, depression, anxiety and panic attacks, sleep disturbances, autonomic dysfunction and sensory complaints.