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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Fallouts and Downsides of the use of Dopaminergic Drugs to treat Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease and Non-Dopaminergic Treatments Being Developed to treat Both Motor and Non-Motor Symptoms: A Literature Review


Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the world and yet has no effective treatments that treat all symptoms to date. The most common form of treatment is levodopa, a dopaminergic medication designed to compensate for the lack of dopamine in the brain. However, L-dopa has proven to cause more side-effects than it does provide solutions. These side effects are in the form of both motor and non-motor symptoms.

L-dopa commonly causes dyskinesia, a symptom that increases difficulty for voluntary movement, and sleep problems in patients who suffer from Parkinson’s Disease. Moves to research in non-motor symptoms and treatment through non-dopaminergic means have begun due to the ineffectiveness of L-dopa. Unfortunately, no promising results have been brought to the forefront, suggesting the need for even more research in the field and in the non-dopaminergic route of treating patients.

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