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BrainWaves: A Neurology Podcast


Dec 1, 2016

For those of you who've witnessed it, giving levodopa to a patient with idiopathic Parkinson Disease is almost a miracle to watch. Unlike practically every other condition afflicting the nervous system, the unmistakable unrest of PD essentially surrenders to this tiny tablet. But what did we use before levodopa? In this week's episode of BrainWaves, we recount the history (and serendipity) behind the development of this miracle drug. BrainWaves podcasts and online content are intended for medical education only and should not be used to guide medical decision making in routine clinical practice. REFERENCES 1. Parkinson J. An essay on the shaking palsy. 1817. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2002;14:223-36; discussion 222. 2. Glatstein M, Alabdulrazzaq F and Scolnik D. Belladonna Alkaloid Intoxication: The 10-Year Experience of a Large Tertiary Care Pediatric Hospital. Am J Ther. 2016;23:e74-7. 3. Koranyi EK. A preamble on parkinsonism. J Psychiatry Neurosci. 1999;24:296-9. 4. Bucy P and Case T. Tremor: Physiologic mechanism and abolition by surgical means. Arch Neurol Psych. 1939;41:721-746. 5. Walter BL, Abosch A and Vitek JL. From Neuroscience to Neurology: Molecular Medicine, and the Therapeutic Transformation of Neurology 2004. 6. Hornykiewicz O. A brief history of levodopa. Journal of neurology. 2010;257:S249-52. 7. Tolosa E, Marti MJ, Valldeoriola F and Molinuevo JL. History of levodopa and dopamine agonists in Parkinson's disease treatment. Neurology. 1998;50:S2-10; discussion S44-8. 8. Birkmayer W and Hornykiewicz O. [The L-3,4-dioxyphenylalanine (DOPA)-effect in Parkinson-akinesia]. Wien Klin Wochenschr. 1961;73:787-8. 9. Cotzias GC, Van Woert MH and Schiffer LM. Aromatic amino acids and modification of parkinsonism. The New England journal of medicine. 1967;276:374-9. 10. Willis AW, Schootman M, Kung N, Wang XY, Perlmutter JS and Racette BA. Disparities in deep brain stimulation surgery among insured elders with Parkinson disease. Neurology. 2014;82:163-71.