Levodopa or L-DOPA (L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) is a catecholamine and a precursor of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Neurologic conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), are often associated with low levels of dopamine. As such levodopa therapy is commonly used to treat PD. Upon crossing the blood-brain barrier, levodopa is converted to dopamine. Increasing brain concentration of dopamine can improve the extrapyramidal syndrome associated with PD. Levodopa is marketed under several brand names including Sinemet. In clinical practice, a number of side effects can occur with levodopa therapy including hallucinations and delusions (Ropper and Samuels 2009).
References and Readings
- Ropper, A. H., & Samuels, M. A. (2009). Adams and victor principles of neurology (9th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar