Caffeine: An overview of its beneficial effects in experimental models and clinical trials of Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurological disease characterized by the progressive degeneration of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway with consequent loss of neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta and dopamine depletion. The cytoplasmic inclusions of α-synuclein (α-Syn), known as Lewy bodies, are the cytologic hallmark of PD. The presence of α-Syn aggregates causes mitochondrial degeneration, responsible for the increase in oxidative stress and consequent neurodegeneration. PD is a progressive disease that shows a complicated pathogenesis. The current therapies are used to alleviate the symptoms of the disease without changing its clinical course. Recently, phytocompounds with neuroprotective effects and antioxidant properties such as caffeine have aroused the interest of researchers. The purpose of this review is to summarize the preclinical studies present in the literature and clinical trials recorded in ClinicalTrial.gov, aimed at illustrating the effects of caffeine used as a nutraceutical compound combined with the current PD therapies. Therefore, the preventive effects of caffeine in the neurodegeneration of dopaminergic neurons encourage the use of this alkaloid as a supplement to reduce the progress of the PD.
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