Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Although PD is primarily classified as a movement disorder, characterized by abnormal gait, shaking, rigidity, tremors, and slowness of movement, cognitive decline and dementia are also seen in advanced stages. The current pharmacotherapy of PD only manages the symptoms and is ineffective in preventing the continued loss of dopamine neurons. PD medications may also lose their efficacy in advanced stages. Thus, there exists a critical need to explore novel and alternative treatment strategies for PD. Both inflammation and oxidative stress have been strongly implicated in the dopaminergic neurodegeneration seen in PD. Dietary polyphenols, such as anthocyanins in berries, curcumin in turmeric, resveratrol in grapes and peanuts, green-tea catechins, and black-tea theaflavins all possess potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This chapter reviews the neuroprotective and therapeutic potential of dietary polyphenols in PD.
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