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Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson`s Disease

11/28/2006

Question:

why is dopamine given as an injection, ineffective to people suffering from parkinsons disease

Answer:

Dopamine is not able to cross over into the brain.  The brain has a special barrier that only allows certain substances to pass through.  This is a protective mechanism.  Levodopa, a dopamine precursor (substance that can be turned in to dopamine) is able to cross from the blood stream in to the brain and so this is used in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease.   Currently, levodopa is used in the pill form because it can be combined with another medication that helps it be used by the body more efficiently (an enzyme inhibitor).  Research is being done on other delivery systems to optimize the use of this medication.

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Response by:

Karen M Thomas, DO Karen M Thomas, DO
Formerly:
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University