Therapeutic strategies to prevent and manage dyskinesias in Parkinson's disease

Manuela Pilleri, Angelo Antonini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Chronic treatment with levodopa is associated with the development of motor fluctuations and dyskinesias particularly in young Parkinson patients. In some cases, dyskinesias become so severe that they interfere with normal movement and negatively impact quality of life. Areas covered: In this review, we discuss benefits and limits of available therapeutic approaches aimed at delaying or managing dyskinesias as well as new strategies that are currently under investigation. Expert opinion: Among available treatments, monotherapy with dopamine agonists in the early phases of the disease reduces the risk for dyskinesias compared with levodopa. Nevertheless, dopamine agonists are unable to prevent dyskinesias once levodopa is added, which is always required once disease severity progresses. Convincing evidence of dyskinesia improvement has been shown only for deep brain stimulation and to some extent also for duodenal levodopa infusion and subcutaneous apomorphine. These approaches are expensive, have restrictive inclusion criteria and can cause potentially serious side effects. Alternative therapies include drugs targeting nondopaminergic neurotransmitter systems. Amantadine improves dyskinesias but its long-term effect is often unsatisfactory. Glutamatergic and gabaergic compounds have been tested in clinical trials, with promising results. By contrast, adrenergic drugs, fipamezole and idazoxan, did not show antidyskinetic effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-294
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Safety
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Dyskinesias
  • Motor complications
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Medicine(all)


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