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Annu Rev Med. 2004;55:41-60.

The scientific basis for the current treatment of Parkinson's disease.

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Department of Neurology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Annenberg 14-94, One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1137, New York, New York 10029, USA.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disease that affects approximately one million people in the United States. The introduction of levodopa revolutionized the treatment for this disorder, but the long-term utility of the drug is limited by motor complications, the development of features such as postural instability and dementia that do not respond to treatment, and continued disease progression. Insights into the organization of the basal ganglia in the normal and PD conditions has permitted the design of new treatment strategies that reduce the risk of developing motor complications. Additionally, increased knowledge of the mechanisms responsible for cell death in PD has permitted the development of putative neuroprotective drugs that might slow or stop disease progression. No drug has yet been established to alter the rate of disease progression, but the rapid pace of research offers reason for optimism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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