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Padilla-Godinez, Francisco J; Ruiz-Ortega, Leonardo I; Guerra-Crespo, Magdalena (2022)


Cells 11(21):
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The complexity and overall burden of Parkinson's disease (PD) require new pharmacological approaches to counteract the symptomatology while reducing the progressive neurodegeneration of affected dopaminergic neurons. Since the pathophysiological signature of PD is characterized by the loss of physiological levels of dopamine (DA) and the misfolding and aggregation of the alpha-synuclein (α-syn) protein, new proposals seek to restore the lost DA and inhibit the progressive damage derived from pathological α-syn and its impact in terms of oxidative stress. In this line, nanomedicine (the medical application of nanotechnology) has achieved significant advances in the development of nanocarriers capable of transporting and delivering basal state DA in a controlled manner in the tissues of interest, as well as highly selective catalytic nanostructures with enzyme-like properties for the elimination of reactive oxygen species (responsible for oxidative stress) and the proteolysis of misfolded proteins. Although some of these proposals remain in their early stages, the deepening of our knowledge concerning the pathological processes of PD and the advances in nanomedicine could endow for the development of potential treatments for this still incurable condition. Therefore, in this paper, we offer: (i) a brief summary of the most recent findings concerning the physiology of motor regulation and (ii) the molecular neuropathological processes associated with PD, together with (iii) a recapitulation of the current progress in controlled DA release by nanocarriers and (iv) the design of nanozymes, catalytic nanostructures with oxidoreductase-, chaperon, and protease-like properties. Finally, we conclude by describing the prospects and knowledge gaps to overcome and consider as research into nanotherapies for PD continues, especially when clinical translations take place.