Jenny Berrío Sánchez, Jaison Cucarian Hurtado, Ramiro Barcos Nunes, Alcyr Alves de Oliveira
June 30, 2018
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a very common neurodegenerative condition in which both motor and nonmotor deficits evolve throughout the course of the disease. Normally characterized as a movement disorder, PD has been broadly studied from a motor perspective. However, mild to moderate cognitive deficits began to appear in the early phases of the disease, even before motor disturbances actually manifest, and continue to progress relentlessly. These nonmotor manifestations are also a source of detriment to the patients’ already strained functionality and quality of life, and pose a therapeutic challenge seeing that replacing therapies have had conflicting results. Considering that the currently approved therapies can hardly be considered curative, efforts to find therapeutic approaches with an actual disease-modifying quality and capable of addressing not only motor but also cognitive dysfunctions are clearly needed. Among possible alternatives with such attribute, mesenchymal stem cell transplantation and exercise are worth highlighting given their common neuroprotective, neuroplastic, and immunomodulatory properties. In this paper, we will summarize the existent literature on the topic, focusing on the mechanisms of action through which these two approaches might beget therapeutic benefits for PD beyond the commonly assessed motor dysfunctions, alluding, at the same time, toward a potential synergic association of both therapies as an optimized approach for PD.