Neuroprotection refers to the protection of neurons from excitotoxicity, oxidative stress and apoptosis as principal mechanisms of cell loss in a variety of diseases of the central nervous system. Our interest in Parkinsons disease (PD) treatment is focused on drugs with neuroprotective properties in preclinical experiments and evidence-based efficacy in human subjects. To this date, neuroprotection has never been solidly proven in clinical trials but recent adequate markers and/or strategies to study and promote this important goal are described. A myriad of compounds with protective properties in cell cultures and animal models yield to few treatments in clinical practice. At present, markers of neuronal vitality, disease modifying effects and long term clinical stability are the elements searched for in clinical trials. This review highlights new strategies to monitor patients with PD. Currently, neuroprotection in subjects has not been solidly achieved for selegiline and pramipexole; however, a recent rasagiline trial design is showing new indications of disease course modifying effects. In neurological practice, it is of utmost importance to take into account the potential neuroprotection exerted by a treatment in conjunction with its symptomatic efficacy.
Keywords: pramipexole, rasagiline, clinical trial, neuroprotection, Parkinson's disease, monoamine transporter- 2 (VMAT-2), neurotrophic factors, proinflammatory cytokine IL-1
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport