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Parkinson disease

Parkinson disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that is clinically diagnosed by its motor features and characterized by loss of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra (pars compacta), which is thought to start years before clinical symptoms manifest. Understanding the causes and underlying mechanisms of cell loss in this disorder will be crucial to prevent or to halt neuronal loss and disease progression. In recent years, an enormous amount of basic and clinical research has revealed many important molecular and cellular changes associated with this disease.

2017 marks the 200th anniversary since James Parkinson published An Essay on the Shaking Palsy. To mark this event, Nature Reviews Disease Primers, Nature Reviews Neuroscience and Nature Reviews Neurology present this collection of articles about cutting-edge basic and clinical research into Parkinson disease.


Reviews & Perspectives

Parkinson disease is a common neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by neuronal loss in the substantia nigra, which causes striatal dopamine deficiency. In this Primer, Poewe et al. discuss the epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of Parkinson disease.

Primer | | Nature Reviews Disease Primers

The year 2017 marks 200 years since James Parkinson'sAn Essay on the Shaking Palsywas published. In this Timeline article, Serge Przedborski provides an overview of the various avenues of research into Parkinson disease that have been pursued over these two centuries to better understand this neurodegenerative disorder.

Timeline | | Nature Reviews Neuroscience

Dementia is commonly encountered in advanced stages of Parkinson disease (PD), but evidence is accumulating that cognitive decline can manifest much earlier in the disease course. Aarsland and colleagues review current knowledge regarding cognitive impairment in patients with PD, focusing on cerebrospinal fluid and imaging biomarkers as potential predictors of cognitive decline in this population.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Neurology

In this Perspectives article, Espay and colleagues argue that that the adoption of precision medicine in Parkinson disease will require a revision of biomarker development efforts, with the ultimate goal of testing putative disease-modifying interventions in well-defined disease subgroups.

Science and Society | | Nature Reviews Neurology

The publication of a consensus definition of Parkinson disease (PD) psychosis in 2007 led to a rapid expansion of literature focusing on clinical aspects, mechanisms and treatment. The authors review this literature and discuss the evolving view of PD psychosis, from distinct classes of symptoms to a continuum progressing over the course of PD.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Neurology

The earliest stages of Parkinson disease (PD) offer the best opportunity to intervene, but detecting early disease is difficult. In this Review, Postuma and Berg provide an overview of established and potential markers of prodromal PD, and consider how these markers can be combined to identify patients who have prodromal PD and could benefit from treatment.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Neurology

Lewy pathology (LP) and neuronal death in clinical Parkinson disease (cPD) have been attributed to the simple spread of misfolded α-synuclein. Surmeieret al. show that the pattern of pathology in cPD is not consistent with this simple model, suggesting that cell-autonomous factors also contribute to pathogenesis.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Neuroscience

Parkinson disease is often characterized as a disorder of movement; however, it is also associated with many non-motor features, some of which appear early in the disease course. In this article, Schapira and colleagues provide an overview of these diverse features and their neurobiological basis.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Neuroscience

Exercise and physical therapy are important adjunct interventions to improve gait and balance impairments in patients with Parkinson disease (PD), as these features are inadequately treated by current pharmacological and surgical treatments. Here, Mak and colleagues discuss the long-term effects of exercise and physical therapy for PD, possible risks, recommendations for clinical practice, and emerging treatment approaches.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Neurology

To coincide with the 200th anniversary of the publication of An Essay on the Shaking Palsy by James Parkinson, Goedert and Compston explore the origins of the eponym 'Parkinson's disease'. Although Jean-Martin Charcot is often credited with introducing the name in the 1880s, it can actually be traced back to an 1865 publication by William Rutherford Sanders.

Essay | | Nature Reviews Neurology