Involvement of the Endocannabinoid System in the pathophysiology and therapeutics of movement disorders

Implicación del sistema endocannabinoide en la fisiopatología y terapéutica de los trastornos del movimiento


Control of movement is a complex process within the brain. Although some approaches have been already made in the employment of cannabinoid-related compounds for the treatment of pathologies such as Parkinson's Disease (PD), there is a huge gap in the understanding of the role that the Endocannabinoid System (ES) plays in this process, as well as the etiopathology of movement disorders.


On one hand, most common movement disorders are a consequence of an ongoing neurodegenerative illness. Also, most of them involve the dopaminergic circuitry running from the Substantia Nigra (SN) to the Striatum (STR). This review aims to provide a compilation of the evidence, pointing out the circumstances under which the agonism of the cannabinoid receptors, or the enhancement for their biological ligands, could be helpful against those movement disorders, as well as reviewing the pathology of such diseases.


Recent evidence suggests that the ES plays a crucial role regarding oxidative stress, neurodegeneration, and neuromodulation. All of these processes are affected in movement disorders, coupled with this, the presence of functional cannabinoid receptors and ligands in the abovementioned regions, encourage the continuous searching for new compounds and therapeutic approaches aiming this system, to diminish, prevent, and treat the symptoms and causes of the movement disorders.

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