Parkinsons disease is a neurodegenerative pathology which affects the dopaminergic neurons in the mesencephalon, leading to a progressive and relentless motor disability and to non-motor symptoms of different severity. The aim of this review is to summarize the features of drugs currently used in the pharmacotherapy of Parkinsons disease, with a look at their beneficial effects and limitations. Drugs acting on dopamine transmission, as L-DOPA, direct dopaminergic agonists, inhibitors for either the MAO or COMT enzymes and drugs acting on neurotransmitters other than dopamine (e.g. acetylcholine, glutamate) will be covered. Investigational drugs currently under examination for their therapeutic potential in Parkinsons disease and recent patents which may be relevant to the field will be also discussed.
Keywords: L-DOPA, dopamine direct agonists, MAO inhibitors, COMT inhibitors, anticholinergics, amantadine, motor impairment.