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A Stage-Based Approach to Therapy in Parkinson's Disease.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that features progressive, disabling motor symptoms, such as bradykinesia, rigidity, and resting tremor. Nevertheless, some non-motor symptoms, including depression, REM sleep behavior disorder, and olfactive impairment, are even earlier features of PD. At later stages, apathy, impulse control disorder, neuropsychiatric disturbances, and cognitive impairment can present, and they often become a heavy burden for both patients and caregivers. Indeed, PD increasingly compromises activities of daily life, even though a high variability in clinical presentation can be observed among people affected. Nowadays, symptomatic drugs and non-pharmaceutical treatments represent the best therapeutic options to improve quality of life in PD patients. The aim of the present review is to provide a practical, stage-based guide to pharmacological management of both motor and non-motor symptoms of PD. Furthermore, warning about drug side effects, contraindications, as well as dosage and methods of administration, are highlighted here, to help the physician in yielding the best therapeutic strategies for each symptom and condition in patients with PD.

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