Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Review
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Treatment of early Parkinson's disease.

The early treatment of Parkinson's disease continues to be controversial as our understanding of the etiology of the disease remains incomplete. Ideally an intervention that reverses or protects against further damage to dopaminergic neurons would be initiated once the symptoms of the disease are recognized. Unfortunately, there are no currently available therapies that have been shown to have a major impact on the progression of the disease. However, delaying effective symptomatic therapy beyond a point of significant disability does result in increased mortality. Concerns have been raised regarding the potential toxicity of levodopa on remaining nigral neurons. Although there is little support for this concept, levodopa is associated with important complications. The development of new symptomatic treatments has made the management of early Parkinson's disease even more complex and requires that many different factors be considered prior to initiating therapy in an attempt to minimize current and future disability caused by the disease and its treatment.

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