Parkinson’s Disease Drugs

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In this lecture Professor Zach Murphy will be presenting on Parkinson’s Disease Medications. During this lecture we will start by reviewing the Basal Ganglia Anatomy and Physiology. We will also be reviewing the direct and indirect pathway that is affected with Parkinson’s disease. We will then transition into the various drug categories used to treat Parkinson’s which includes Levodopa or L-Dopa, Dopamine Agonists, COMT inhibitors, MAO-B inhibitors, Amantadine, and Anticholinergics. We hope you enjoy this lecture and be sure to support us below!

Table of Contents:
0:00 Lab
0:07 Parkinson’s Disease Medications Introduction
1:20 Basal Ganglia Anatomy
4:23 Direct vs. Indirect Pathway
18:23 Pathophysiology of Parkinson’s Disease
21:26 Drug Classes for Parkinson’s Disease
24:36 Mechanism of Action
38:51 L-Dopa + Carbidopa
1:00:22 Dopamine Agonists
1:06:08 COMT-Inhibitors
1:11:39 MAO-B-Inhibitors
1:20:12 Amantadine
1:27:10 Anticholinergics
1:31:18 PD Medications – Practice Problems
1:36:13 Comment, Like, SUBSCRIBE!

Supplemental Lectures:
Basal Ganglia –

Pharmacology Source:
Whalen, Karen. Lippincott Illustrated Reviews: Pharmacology (Lippincott Illustrated Reviews Series). Wolters Kluwer Health. Kindle Edition.

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Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that affects the movement of an individual. The condition is caused by the loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain, leading to symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination. While there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease, there are several drugs available to manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life for individuals living with the condition.

One of the most commonly prescribed drugs for Parkinson’s disease is levodopa, which is converted into dopamine in the brain. This medication is often combined with carbidopa, which helps prevent the breakdown of levodopa before it can reach the brain. Levodopa can effectively reduce tremors, stiffness, and other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but it can also cause side effects such as nausea, dizziness, and dyskinesia (involuntary movements).

Another class of drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease is dopamine agonists, which mimic the effects of dopamine in the brain. These medications can be used alone or in combination with levodopa and can help reduce symptoms such as tremors and rigidity. However, they can also cause side effects such as hallucinations, dizziness, and sleepiness.

Other drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease include MAO-B inhibitors, which help prevent the breakdown of dopamine in the brain, and anticholinergics, which can reduce tremors and rigidity by blocking the effects of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. These medications can be effective in managing certain symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but they can also cause side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, and confusion.

Overall, Parkinson’s disease drugs can help individuals manage the symptoms of the condition and improve their quality of life. However, it is important to work closely with a healthcare provider to find the right medication and dosage for each individual, as well as to monitor for potential side effects and adjust treatment as needed.


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