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The history of dopamine and levodopa in the treatment of Parkinson's disease


  • Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.


The discoveries of dopamine as a neurotransmitter in the brain, its depletion in patients with Parkinson disease, and its replacement with levodopa therapy were major revolutionary events in the rise to effective therapy for patients with this disorder. This review describes these events and the persons who carried out these accomplishments. Their impact went beyond a single clinical entity of parkinsonism, for it opened up the beginning of a much better understanding of the role of dopamine in other neurologic movement disorders and also in many psychiatric diseases. © 2008 Movement Disorder Society