This volume contains the proceedings of the first Solvay Pharmaceuticals Research Symposium, and is dedicated to Parkinson's disease. It provides an update of clinical and preclinical research. Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, primarily affecting dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and resulting in a number of symptoms. While these symptoms can be treated with conventional therapy, this book contains several chapters discussing innovative approaches for the symptom treatment of Parkinson patients, aiming for reducing severe side effects of current treatment, such as dyskinesias, dystonia, insomnia. In addition, attention is focused to the comorbid major depression and its treatment, as the latter affects quality of life more severely than the motor dysfunction that is the hallmark of Parkinson's disease. The second part of these proceedings is devoted to the molecular and cellular basis of the degenerating brain. Contemporary insights on mitochondrial dysfunction, induction of cytoprotective systems and the use of neurotrophic factors, all aiming at attenuating the degeneration process are discussed.
As the potential therapeutic effects of such neuroprotective approaches may not be readily visible in current clinical settings, a clear need for surrogate markers is required. As is discussed in this book, neuroimaging such as PET, SPECT and MRI may serve in future to evaluate innovative therapy that is aimed at conserving dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease.show more