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L-dopa for parkinsonism

Abstract

Existing anti-Parkinsonian drugs help 60–80% of patients,1 mainly by reducing rigidity. Stereotaxic surgery also reduces rigidity but has proved particularly helpful in the alleviation of tremor.2 Evidence is now accumulating that a new drug, L-dopa (l-dihydroxyphenylalanine), is useful in the management of Parkinsonism. Its salient therapeutic action is the reduction of hypokinesia, making it easier to initiate voluntary movement. It also helps to control oculogyric crises, which are generally refractory to all other forms of treatment.

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