Movement Disorders and Neuroimmunology

Movement Disorders

Movement disorders encompass a range of conditions including ataxia, dystonia, essential tremor, multiple system atrophy, Parkinson’s disease (PD) and restless legs syndrome. The treatment landscape of PD has seen numerous developments, including the introduction of dopamine agonists and MAO-B inhibitors, along with device-assisted therapies that prove particularly useful in advanced-stage disease. The first-line treatment of ataxia with botulinum toxin is long established, but new preparations of the drug are likely to contribute to the future landscape.

Neuroimmunology

Neuroimmunology aims to understand the interactions of the immune and nervous systems. Neural targets involved in many aspects of homeostasis are affected by inflammatory cytokines. The most well-known autoimmune neurological disorder is multiple sclerosis, characterised by an inflammatory autoimmune attack on the myelin sheath and neurodegeneration. Neuroinflammation also plays a role in in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, stroke, chronic depression and schizophrenia. Neuroimmunology is also an important consideration in the design of neural implants. Further understanding of the balance between beneficial and pathological effects of the immune system on the neuronal system will facilitate the development of novel therapies.

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