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Neurotrophic Factors as a Protective Strategy in Parkinson's Disease

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Neurodegenerative disorders are devastating human diseases that include Parkinson's, Huntington's, Alzheimer's, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and the frontal temporal dementias. Although the clinical manifestations of these disorders have been known for quite some time, our understanding of the molecular underpinnings is only starting to emerge. Protein misfolding and aggregation is a common hallmark among these diseases, and produce a number of cellular and functional alterations.

The loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra justified the use of dopaminergic therapies in patients. However, these strategies do not appear to confer disease-modifying effects, and do not prevent progression. The idea that neurotrophic factors might promote cell survival is an attractive one. Existing evidence from clinical trials is currently inconclusive, but some patients display clear clinical benefits. Thus, the current challenge is to develop novel strategies that make the use of neurotrophic factors more consistent.

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Keywords: (MAPK) pathway; (PSPN); Alzheimer's disease; BDNF; GDNF; Huntington's disease; L-Dopa-induced dyskinesias; NGF; Parkinson's disease; TrK-mediated neurotrophin signaling; UPDRS; Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; brain-derived neurotrophic factor; dyskinesias; enovin; frontal temporal dementias; glial cell line derived neurotrophic factor; hyponatremia; neublastin; neurodegeneration; neurotrophins; neurturin; parkinsonism; persephin; protein misfolding; se; protein misfolding; neurodegeneration; neurotrophins; brain-derived neurotrophic factor

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-12-01

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  • CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular targets involved in neurological and central nervous system (CNS) disorders e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will contain a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in neurological and CNS disorders. As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for neurological and CNS drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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