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    An Introduction to Parkinson's Disease

    Parkinson’s disease (PD), the most common movement disorder, is characterized by dopamine deficiency and motor symptoms, such as tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia and impaired balance; non-motor symptoms are increasingly being recognized as important too. Despite advances in our understanding of PD by functional genetics, brain imaging and biomarker detection, it remains incurable. While levodopa remains the mainstay of therapy, other treatments include levodopa plus carbidopa (oral/gel infusion), dopamine agonists, MAO-B and COMT inhibitors, anticholinergics and amantadine. Latest approvals include opicapone, a COMT inhibitor, and istradefylline, an adenosine A2A antagonist; both boost the effect of levodopa for better symptom control. Investigational approaches include disease-modifying therapies targeting α-synuclein and its pathways, immunotherapies, stem-cell therapy and non-pharmacological interventions targeting motor symptoms, including gene therapy and adaptive deep-brain stimulation.

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