Parkinson’s drugs explained

Parkinson’s drugs explained


In Parkinson’s brain cells that produce a chemical called dopamine stop working properly and are lost slowly over time Without dopamine these cells are not able to send messages to control movement And symptoms start to appear What the cells need is more dopamine But dopamine itself cannot be taken in a pill As it won’t reach the brain Levodopa is the most common drug that people take It can get into the brain where it can be converted into dopamine And suddenly brain cells can start sending messages again There are many different drugs for Parkinson’s But most work by topping up or mimicking the effect of dopamine They help manage the symptoms But none of them can slow or stop the loss of dopamine producing cells As more cells are lost people need to take more drugs to top up their dopamine and this can lead to side effects We urgently need better treatments that can do more than just replace dopamine That’s why we’re striving for new and better treatments in years rather than decades

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