The central objective in treating patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) is two-fold (i) to increase the striatal
dopamine content and (ii) to prevent further degeneration of the surviving dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra
region of the ventral midbrain. Most of the current PD drugs contribute to the former and provide symptomatic relief. Although
compounds such as Levodopa (L-DOPA) improve the striatal dopamine content, their long-term usage is associated
with progressive decrease in drug response, motor fluctuations, dyskinesias and drug-induced toxicity. In addition,
these drugs fail to prevent the progression of the degenerative process. This has shifted the focus onto alternative therapeutic
approaches involving natural products that could provide independent therapy or offer neuroprotective support to
the existing drugs. The current review describes the neuroprotective and therapeutic utility of such natural products including
herbal extracts, phytochemicals and bioactive ingredients from other natural sources either in isolation or in combination,
with potential application in PD, highlighting the relevant patents.
Keywords: Adjunctive therapy, antioxidants, natural products, neuroprotection, Parkinson’s disease, phytochemicals.
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