Who has never heard of Parkinson’s disease? Many famous and patients participated in the mediation of this disease. Rightly, we believe it is limited to tremors. Similarly, treatments and therapeutic strategies often remain unknown. Doctissimo reviews the medications used to treat this disease …
Of unknown cause, Parkinson’s disease is characterized by a weakening of the amounts of dopamine in the brain. This neurotransmitter is essential for communication between nerve cells it. This lack leads to a lack of coordination between different brain areas involved in the control of skeletal muscles, that is to say the so-called voluntary muscles (muscles that are controlled). No treatment to cure the disease exists to this day but it is nevertheless possible to delay its development.
Pharmacological point of view, it is possible to increase the amount of dopamine in the brain or to fight against the consequences of its failure on the balance of great pharmacological systems of our body. The drugs used are antiparkinsonian . There are also surgical treatment gives good results in some cases.
The levers do not miss …
To increase the amount of dopamine available, there are several possibilities:
Increase the amount of dopamine in the brain by a contribution;
Increase the amount of dopamine in the brain by reducing its degradation;
Fight against the harmful effects of dopamine deficiency.
Logical to treat Parkinson’s disease, bring dopamine seem to be the most appropriate. Unfortunately, dopamine can not be used because it does not pass the blood-brain barrier (BBB). It: so use a precursor levodopa (L-dopa or dihydroxyphenylalanine) to increase the production of dopamine in the brain. This substance used since the 1960s, passes the BBB, turns into dopamine, where it is lacking in the brain. In the rest of the body, levodopa is destroyed by an enzyme (L-dopa decarboxylase) which reduces the amount available for the passage in the brain. Therefore, levodopa is now systematically associated with another molecule (benserazide or carbidopa) responsible for inhibiting its degradation by blocking the L-dopa decarboxylase outside the brain.
Close to levodopa in the action principle, molecules that mimic the action of dopamine were also found: these are dopamine agonists . This class contains several products including apomorphine. Most often, these substances are derived from ergot , a fungus parasite rye.