Benefits of L-dopa in the treatment of early Parkinson's disease

Nissen, T. and Grosset, D.G. (2011) Benefits of L-dopa in the treatment of early Parkinson's disease. Focus on Parkinson's Disease, 22(1), 12-15-12-15.

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Abstract

The introduction of levodopa (L-dopa) in the late 1960s revolutionized the management of Parkinson's disease (PD). Previously, the only class of medication available for its treatment was anticholinergic therapy. The discovery was highly significant, but controversial in its day regarding the central role of dopamine (rather than other neurotransmitters) in relation to the motor features of PD. Initially, reversal of akinesia in a catecholamine-depleted model was achieved by a mixture of D- and L-dopa. Subsequently, dopamine deficiency was shown at autopsy in the human striatum in 2 cases of PD, and reduced urine dopamine excretion was found in patients. Dopamine replacement therapy was introduced, initially using very high L-dopa doses before the discovery of dopamine decarboxylase inhibitors, which avoid peripheral degradation of L-dopa before passing the blood-brain barrier, and which - as carbidopa or benserazide - are now routinely used in combination with L-dopa.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Grosset, Dr Donald
Authors: Nissen, T., and Grosset, D.G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Focus on Parkinson's Disease
ISSN:0924-2015

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