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Expert Rev Neurother. 2007 Dec;7(12):1693-729.

Molecular pathways and genetic aspects of Parkinson's disease: from bench to bedside.

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Neurological Service, San Camillo de'Lellis General Hospital, I-2100 Rieti, Italy.


Idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by dopaminergic neuronal loss within the substantia nigra. The incidence and prevalence of PD is rising with an increasing aging population. PD is a slowly progressive condition and patients can develop debilitating motor and functional impairment. Current research has implicated oxidative stress, alpha-synucleinopathy and dysfunction of the ubiquitin-proteasome system in the pathogenesis of PD. A number of gene mutations have also been linked to the development of PD. The elucidation of these new molecular pathways has increased our knowledge of PD pathophysiology. This article reviews important molecular mechanisms and genetic causes implicated in the pathogenesis of PD, which has led to new areas of therapeutic drug research.

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