Noradrenaline in Parkinson's disease: From disease progression to current therapeutics

Francesco Fornai, Adolfo Bandettini di Poggio, Antonio Pellegrini, Stefano Ruggieri, Antonio Paparelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The loss of the neurotransmitter noradrenaline occurs constantly in Parkinson's disease. This is supposed to worsen disease progression, either by increasing the vulnerability of dopamine-containing neurons or by reducing the recovery once they are damaged. Novel data also show that the loss of noradrenergic innervation facilitates the onset of dyskinesia occurring in Parkinsonian patients during dopamine replacement therapy. In the first part of the manuscript we review the evidence showing the less of the noradrenergic system as an early event in the natural history of Parkinsonism. This evidence is discussed in light of novel reports showing the deleterious effects produced by the noradrenergic deficit on the survival of nigral dopamine neurons. In particular, we analyze the biochemical and morphological changes produced is the nigrostriatal system by the loss of endogenous noradrenaline. In a dedicated paragraph we specifically evaluate the cross affinity between dopamine and noradrenaline systems. In fact, this is critical during dopamine/noradrenaline replacement therapy in Parkinson's disease. In the last part, we overview novel therapeutic approaches aimed at restoring the activation of noradrenaline receptors to reduce the dyskinesia occurring in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2330-2334
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007


  • Alpha receptors
  • D receptors
  • DA agonists
  • Dyskinesia
  • L-DOPA
  • Locus coeruleus
  • Neurodegeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


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