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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 587418, 7 pages
Review Article

Microglial Ion Channels as Potential Targets for Neuroprotection in Parkinson’s Disease

Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 170 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA

Received 2 August 2013; Accepted 19 September 2013

Academic Editor: Long-Jun Wu

Copyright © 2013 Jason R. Richardson and Muhammad M. Hossain. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that is estimated to affect at least 1 million individuals in the USA and over 10 million worldwide. It is thought that the loss of neurons and development of inclusion bodies occur gradually over decades until they progress to the point where ~60% of the dopamine neurons are lost and patients present with motor dysfunction. At present, it is not clear what causes this progression, and there are no current therapies that have been successful in preventing PD progression. Although there are many hypotheses regarding the mechanism of PD progression, neuroinflammation may be a major contributor to PD pathogenesis. Indeed, activated microglia and subsequent neuroinflammation have been consistently associated with the pathogenesis of PD. Thus, interference with this process could provide a means of neuroprotection in PD. This review will discuss the potential of targeting microglia to reduce neuroinflammation in PD. Further, we discuss the potential of microglial ion channels to serve as novel targets for neuroprotection in PD.