Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and, as such, many brain regions, including the basal ganglia, are rich in glutamatergic neurons. The importance of the basal ganglia in the control of voluntary movement has long been recognised, with the effect of dysfunction of the region exemplified by the motor symptoms seen in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the basal ganglia and the associated glutamatergic system also play a role in the modulation of emotion, nociception and cognition, dysregulation of which result in some of the non-motor symptoms of PD (depression/anxiety, pain and cognitive deficits). Thus, while the treatment of PD has traditionally been approached from the perspective of dopaminergic replacement, using agents such as levodopa and dopamine receptor agonists, the glutamatergic system offers a novel treatment target for the disease. Safinamide has been approved in over 20 countries globally for fluctuating PD as add-on therapy to levodopa regimens for the management of 'off' episodes. The drug has both dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic pharmacological effects, the latter including inhibition of abnormal glutamate release. The effect of safinamide on the glutamatergic system might present some advantages over dopamine-based therapies for PD by providing efficacy for motor (levodopa-induced dyskinesia) as well as non-motor (anxiety, mood disorders, pain) symptoms. In this article, we discuss the potential role of glutamatergic inhibition on these symptoms, using illustrative real-world examples of patients we have treated with safinamide.

The role of glutamatergic neurotransmission in the motor and non-motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease: clinical cases and a review of the literature

Tinazzi, Michele;
2021

Abstract

Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and, as such, many brain regions, including the basal ganglia, are rich in glutamatergic neurons. The importance of the basal ganglia in the control of voluntary movement has long been recognised, with the effect of dysfunction of the region exemplified by the motor symptoms seen in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the basal ganglia and the associated glutamatergic system also play a role in the modulation of emotion, nociception and cognition, dysregulation of which result in some of the non-motor symptoms of PD (depression/anxiety, pain and cognitive deficits). Thus, while the treatment of PD has traditionally been approached from the perspective of dopaminergic replacement, using agents such as levodopa and dopamine receptor agonists, the glutamatergic system offers a novel treatment target for the disease. Safinamide has been approved in over 20 countries globally for fluctuating PD as add-on therapy to levodopa regimens for the management of 'off' episodes. The drug has both dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic pharmacological effects, the latter including inhibition of abnormal glutamate release. The effect of safinamide on the glutamatergic system might present some advantages over dopamine-based therapies for PD by providing efficacy for motor (levodopa-induced dyskinesia) as well as non-motor (anxiety, mood disorders, pain) symptoms. In this article, we discuss the potential role of glutamatergic inhibition on these symptoms, using illustrative real-world examples of patients we have treated with safinamide.
Case reports
Glutamic acid
Parkinson disease
Safinamide
Aged
Alanine
Antiparkinson Agents
Benzylamines
Female
Humans
Male
Middle Aged
Neurons
Parkinson Disease
Synaptic Transmission
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1046654
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