Levodopa Therapy for Parkinson's Disease: History, Current Status and Perspectives

Author(s): Helle Bogetofte, Arezo Alamyar, Morten Blaabjerg, Morten Meyer*

Journal Name: CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets
Formerly Current Drug Targets - CNS & Neurological Disorders

Volume 19 , Issue 8 , 2020

Become EABM
Become Reviewer
Call for Editor

Graphical Abstract:


Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a preferential degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta. This results in a profound decrease of striatal dopamine (DA) levels, which in turn leads to the cardinal motor symptoms of PD; muscle rigidity, hypo- and bradykinesia and resting tremor. Even 50 years after its initial use, the DA precursor levodopa (L-dopa), is still the most effective medical therapy for the symptomatic treatment of PD. Long-term L-dopa treatment is however, unfortunately associated with undesirable side effects such as motor fluctuations and dyskinesias. Furthermore, despite the disease alleviating effects of L-dopa, it is still discussed whether L-dopa has a neurotoxic or neuroprotective effect on dopaminergic neurons. Here we review the history of L-dopa, including its discovery, development and current use in the treatment of PD. We furthermore review current evidence of the L-dopa-induced side effects and perspectives of L-dopa treatment in PD compared to other established treatments such as DA-agonists and the inhibitors of catechol-o-methyltransferase and monoamine oxidase B.

Keywords: Dopamine, dopaminergic, substantia nigra, L-dopa, dyskinesia, Parkinson’s Disease (PD).

Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

Year: 2020
Page: [572 - 583]
Pages: 12
DOI: 10.2174/1871527319666200722153156
Price: $65

Article Metrics

PDF: 43