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28th November 2010 - History

THE HISTORY OF L-DOPA

Journal of Neurology [2010] 257 (Supplement 2) : S249-252 (O.Hornykiewicz) Complete text

L-dopa has been used for thousands of years for Parkinson's Disease. An ancient civilisation in India used a tropical legume called Mucuna Pruriens, whose seeds are a natural source of therapeutic quantities of L-dopa. L-dopa was first isolated in 1910-1913 from seedlings of Vicia faba. In 1938, L-dopa decarboxylase was discovered, the enzyme that turns L-dopa into dopamine. In 1957, dopamine was shown to occur in the brain, and in 1959 it was found to be enriched in a specific part of the brain. In 1960, postmortem studies showed that a severe dopamine deficiency occurred in Parkinson's Disease, thereby providing a basis for dopamine replacement therapy using L-dopa. Accordingly, in 1961, the first successful clinical trial with L-dopa was carried out. In 1963, the dopamine deficiency in the substantia nigra in people with Parkinson's Disease was found. In 1967, the chronic, high dose L-dopa regimen was introduced in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. 

There are now more than a dozen formats of L-dopa. Sinemet consists of L-dopa and Carbidopa (which helps to prevent the metabolism of L-dopa before it reaches the brain). There is a controlled release version, Sinemet CR, that spreads out the effect of the L-dopa. Madopar consists of L-dopa and Benserazide (which helps to prevent the metabolism of L-dopa before it reaches the brain). There is also a controlled release version called Madopar CR.

Parcopa is an orally disintegrating tablet version of Sinemet. Duodopa is a combination of L-dopa and Carbidopa in the form of a gel. It is administered throughout the day using a portable pump directly into the small intestine through a surgically placed tube. AcuForm is being added to a combination of L-dopa and carbidopa. AcuForm helps to deliver a drug like Sinemet over a longer period of time. Dual layer L-dopa combines the immediate release and the controlled release versions of L-dopa.

Stalevo consists of L-dopa, Carbidopa and Entacopone, which inhibits the COMT enzyme, thereby prolonging the effects of L-dopa.  Melevodopa is the methyl ester of L-dopa. Mucuna pruriens and Fava beans are natural sources of L-dopa. For more current news go to Parkinson's Disease News.

 

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 Parkinson's Disease News details all significant new research, news reports, new books, and new resources concerning Parkinson's Disease and those medical disorders that often coincide with Parkinson's Disease. It is compiled from an analysis of  all newly published research, news reports, new clinical trials, all newly published books, and new web sites. A summary and analysis of the new research are provided,  as well as links to the complete abstracts and news reports

                                    

 

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