Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The last decade has seen major progress at all levels of neuroscience, from genes and molecules up to integrated systems-level models of brain function. In particular, there have been advances in the understanding of cell-type-specific contributions to function, together with a clearer account of how these contributions are coordinated from moment to moment to organise behavior. A major current endeavor is to leverage this knowledge to develop new therapeutic approaches. In Parkinson's disease, there are a number of promising emerging treatments. Here, we will highlight three ambitious novel therapeutic approaches for this condition, each robustly driven by primary neuroscience. Pharmacogenetics genetically re-engineers neurons to produce neurotrophins that are neuroprotective to vulnerable dopaminergic cells or to directly replace dopamine through enzyme transduction. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is undergoing a transformation, with adaptive DBS controlled by neural signals resulting in better motor outcomes and significant reductions in overall stimulation that could reduce side effects. Finally, optogenetics presents the opportunity to achieve cell-type-specific control with a high temporal specification on a large enough scale to effectively repair network-level dysfunction.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Biol

Publication Date





R898 - R909


Brain, Deep Brain Stimulation, Humans, Optogenetics, Parkinson Disease, Pharmacogenetics