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This article is the author's final published version in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 24, Issue 11, 2023, Article number 9183.

The published version is available at Copyright © 2023 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder affecting millions of patients worldwide. Many therapeutics are available for treating PD symptoms but there is no disease-modifying therapeutic that has been unequivocally shown to slow or stop the progression of the disease. There are several factors contributing to the failure of many putative disease-modifying agents in clinical trials and these include the choice of patients and clinical trial designs for disease modification trials. Perhaps more important, however, is the choice of therapeutic, which for the most part, has not taken into account the multiple and complex pathogenic mechanisms and processes involved in PD. This paper discusses some of the factors contributing to the lack of success in PD disease-modification trials, which have mostly investigated therapeutics with a singular mechanism of action directed at one of the many PD pathogenic processes, and suggests that an alternative strategy for success may be to employ multi-functional therapeutics that target multiple PD-relevant pathogenic mechanisms. Evidence is presented that the multi-functional glycosphingolipid GM1 ganglioside may be just such a therapeutic.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.