As a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mostly affects
older people, Parkinson’s disease is a growing health threat to our ever-aging population.
Despite remarkable advances in our understanding of this disease, all therapeutics currently
available only act to improve symptoms but cannot stop the disease progression. Therefore, it
is essential that more effective drug discovery methods and approaches are developed, validated,
and used for the discovery of disease-modifying treatments for Parkinson’s disease.
Drug repurposing, also known as drug repositioning, or the process of finding new uses for
existing or abandoned pharmaceuticals, has been recognized as a cost-effective and timeefficient
way to develop new drugs, being equally promising as de novo drug discovery in the
field of neurodegeneration and, more specifically for Parkinson’s disease. The availability of
several established libraries of clinical drugs and fast evolvement in disease biology, genomics
and bioinformatics has stimulated the momentums of both in silico and activity-based drug
repurposing. With the successful clinical introduction of several repurposed drugs for Parkinson’s
disease, drug repurposing has now become a robust alternative approach to the discovery
and development of novel drugs for this disease. In this review, recent advances in drug
repurposing for Parkinson’s disease will be discussed.
Keywords: drug repurposing, Parkinson’s disease, neurodegeration, dopamine, α-synuclein, neuroinflammation, neuroprotection.
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