Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

The 51st Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Neurology

The discovery of an antiparkinsonian drug, zonisamide

Miho Murata, M.D., Ph.D.

Department of Neurology, National Center Hospital, National Center of Neurology & Psychiatry

We found that zonisamide (ZNS), an antiepileptic agent, has beneficial effects on Parkinson disease. A 25 mg once a day of ZNS significantly improves motor function of advanced patients with Parkinson disease. Its effects maintained at least one year even in patients with advanced stage. It was finally approved as an anti parkinsonian agent in Japan on March 2009. ZNS increases dopamine contents in the striatum by activating dopamine synthesis through increasing the levels of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) mRNA and TH protein. It moderately inhibits monoamine oxydase (MAO) activity. The inhibitory effect of ZNS on T-type Ca++channel may also affect the anti-parkinsonian effects. ZNS also showed neuroprotective effects on several parkinsonian models through effecting both neuron and glia. We will verify the neuroprotective effects of ZNS on patients with Parkinson disease and study the factors responsible for the individual difference of the effects of zonisamide by using genome wide association study (GWAS) in the near feature.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (233K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 50: 780|782, 2010)
key words: zonisamide, Parkinson disease, dopamine synthesis, neruprotection

(Received: 20-May-10)