Serotonin and Parkinson's disease: On movement, mood, and madness

Authors

  • Susan H. Fox MRCP, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Movement Disorders Clinic, McL 7–421, University of Toronto, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • MCL7.421, Movement Disorders Clinic, Toronto Western Hospital, 399 Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 2S8
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Rosalind Chuang MD,

    1. Movement Disorders Clinic, McL 7–421, University of Toronto, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jonathan M. Brotchie PhD

    1. Division of Brain, Imaging and Behavior – Systems Neuroscience, Toronto Western Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Potential conflict of interest: None reported.

Abstract

An appreciation of the multiple roles that serotonin (5-HT) may play in Parkinson's disease (PD) has increased in recent years. Early pathological studies in PD demonstrated nonselective reductions of 5-HT in brain tissue but little correlation to comorbidities such as dyskinesia and mood disturbance. This, combined with treatment failures using serotonergic drugs in comparison to levodopa, meant the field was largely neglected until recently. The multitude of subtypes of 5-HT receptors in the brain and an increased understanding of the potential function 5-HT may play in modulating other neurotransmitter systems, including dopamine, GABA, and glutamate, have meant an expansion in efforts to develop potential serotonergic drugs for both motor and nonmotor symptoms in PD. However, several unanswered questions remain, and future studies need to focus on correlating changes in 5-HT neurotransmission in both pathological and in vivo imaging studies with a full clinical phenotype. © 2009 Movement Disorder Society

Ancillary