An update on medical and surgical treatments of parkinson's disease

Dipali Nemade, Thyagarajan Subramanian, Vikram Shivkumar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta and other neuronal populations. The worldwide prevalence of PD is over 7 million and has been increasing more rapidly than many other neurodegenerative disorders. PD symptoms can be broadly divided into motor (slowness, stiffness, tremor) and non-motor symptoms (such as depression, dementia, psychosis, orthostatic hypotension). Patients can also have prodromal symptoms of rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, hyposmia, and constipation. The diagnosis of PD is mainly clinical, but dopamine transporter single-photon emission computed tomography can improve the accuracy of the diagnosis. Dopamine based therapies are used for the treatment of motor symptoms. Non-motor symptoms are treated with other medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (depression/anxiety), acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (dementia), and atypical antipsychotics (psychosis). Patients with motor fluctuations or uncontrolled tremor, benefit from deep brain stimulation. Levodopa-carbidopa intestinal gel is an alternative to deep brain stimulation for uncontrolled motor fluctuations. Rehabilitative therapies such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy are important during all stages of the disease. Management of PD is complex but there have been significant advancements in the treatment of motor and non-motor symptoms over the past few years. This review discusses the updates in the medical and surgical management of PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1021-1035
Number of pages15
JournalAging and Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cell Biology


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