Effective Management of “OFF” Episodes in Parkinson’s Disease: Emerging Treatment Strategies and Unmet Clinical Needs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Motor complications related to the chronic administration of levodopa and failure to prevent the neurodegenerative disease process counterbalance the pivotal discovery of levodopa as the cornerstone of PD treatment. Excellent motor control is offered early during the course of treatment, but this diminishes as pathological changes in the striatum lead to synaptic dopamine levels becoming completely dependent on exogenous dopamine. This non-physiologic stimulation of dopamine receptors eventually manifests as OFF episodes. As no disease modifying therapy exists for PD that can disrupt these pathological changes, most research and treatment focuses on optimization of dopaminergic stimulation of striatal receptors so that they mimic tonic, physiologic stimulation as closely as possible. Strategies focusing on these challenges have included non-pharmacologic approaches, optimizing levodopa pharmacoki-netics, using adjunctive treatments including those with non-dopaminergic mechanisms, and implementing rescue therapies. Device aided therapies, including surgery, are also available. In this review, we will focus on effective management of motor symptoms related to OFF periods, including emerging strategies. Unmet clinical needs will be discussed, including non-motor symptoms, targeted molecular therapies and disease modifying therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-266
Number of pages20
JournalNeuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
StatePublished - 2023


  • advanced Parkinson’s Disease
  • chronic levodopa complications
  • continuous dopaminergic stimulation
  • dyskinesias
  • motor complications
  • nonmotor symptoms


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