Indexed on: 19 Oct '11Published on: 19 Oct '11Published in: Parkinson's disease
L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias (LIDs) are one of the main motor side effects of L-DOPA therapy in Parkinson's disease. The review will consider the biochemical evidence indicating that the serotonergic neurons are involved in the dopaminergic effects of L-DOPA in the brain. The consequences are an ectopic and aberrant release of dopamine that follows the serotonergic innervation of the brain. After mid- to long-term treatment with L-DOPA, the pattern of L-DOPA-induced dopamine release is modified. In several brain regions, its effect is dramatically reduced while, in the striatum, its effect is quite preserved. LIDs could appear when the dopaminergic effects of L-DOPA fall in brain areas such as the cortex, enhancing the subcortical impact of dopamine and promoting aberrant motor responses. The consideration of the serotonergic system in the core mechanism of action of L-DOPA opens an important reserve of possible strategies to limit LIDs.