Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder. However, therapeutic options treating only its symptoms are very disappointing. Therefore there is an ongoing search for compounds capable of tackling the multi-dimensional features of PD. Recently natural polyphenols have gained great interest as potential therapeutic agents. Herein, we have attempted to summarize results obtained in different animal models demonstrating their neuroprotective effects. The in vivo findings presented below are supported by human subject data and reports regarding the ability of polyphenols to cross the blood-brain barrier. The beneficial effects of polyphenols are demonstrated by the results of behavioral examinations, mainly related to motor and cognitive capabilities, histopathological and immunohistochemical examination concerning the protection of dopaminergic neurons, analyses of dopamine and the concentration of its metabolites, as well as mechanistic studies regarding the modulation of oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, cellular iron management, proteinopathy, and additionally the regulation of signaling pathways. Importantly, data about brain distribution of the metabolic derivatives of the reviewed polyphenols are crucial for the justification of their nutritional intake in neuroprotective intervention, as well as for the identification of potential targets for a novel therapeutic approach to Parkinson’s disease.
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