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Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2003 Aug;24(8):395-401.

Novel anti-inflammatory therapy for Parkinson's disease.

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Neuropharmacology Section, Laboratory of Pharmacology and Chemistry, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a movement disorder that is characterized by progressive degeneration of the nigrostriatal dopamine system. Although dopamine replacement can alleviate symptoms of the disorder, there is no proven therapy to halt the underlying progressive degeneration of dopamine-containing neurons. Recently, increasing evidence from human and animal studies has suggested that neuroinflammation is an important contributor to the neuronal loss in PD. Moreover, the pro-inflammatory agent lipopolysaccharide itself can directly initiate degeneration of dopamine-containing neurons or combine with other environmental factor(s), such as the pesticide rotenone, to exacerbate such neurodegeneration. These effects provide strong support for the involvement of inflammation in the pathogenesis of PD. Furthermore, growing experimental evidence demonstrates that inhibition of the inflammatory response can, in part, prevent degeneration of nigrostriatal dopamine-containing neurons in several animal models of PD, suggesting that inhibition of inflammation might become a promising therapeutic intervention for PD.

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