TREATMENTS - PART 1 - LEVODOPA

November 2, 2017

There are a lot of different treatments available for Parkinson's but at the moment there are none that will stop or slow the condition but there are a number of research projects underway that show a lot of promise.

 

Most current drug treatments aim to either replace the Dopamine that is no longer produced in adequate amounts the brain, prevent the breakdown of the Dopamine that is being produced or mimic the effect of Dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter (a chemical messenger) that allows neurons (brain cells) to communicate with each other.

 

We cant just give people dopamine because it will cause vomiting/nausea and it does not cross the Blood-Brain Barrier to get to where it is needed. The Blood-Brain Barrier is a special membrane that separates the blood from the brain and protects the brain by only allowing certain substances to pass through it.

 

Instead of Dopamine we give Levodopa, or L-Dopa, which can get through the Blood-Brain Barrier and can be converted to Dopamine. It is actually a little more complicated as we also need to stop the L-Dopa being converted to Dopamine outside of the brain as it will also cause side effects such as nausea and it will be used up more rapidly. To do this we add another drug, Carbidopa, which helps stop the conversion of L-Dopa to Dopamine outside of the brain but Carbidopa does cross the Blood Brain Barrier so does not impact the conversion of L-Dopa to Dopamine in the brain. This means that most of the L-Dopa is available to the brain and the side effects such as nausea are minimized.

 

L-Dopa in the most common treatment for Parkinson's and whilst science has known about the compound for over 100 years it was only in the 1960s that it was used to treat Parkinson's.

 

Over the next couple of months we will cover a range of other treatments and therapies. To learn more about Parkinson's treatments please visit our new website www.parkinsons.org.au or call the infoline 1800 644 189 to talk to your local Parkinson's organisation.

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Featured Posts

I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!

Please reload

Recent Posts

January 17, 2018

December 13, 2017

November 29, 2017

November 17, 2017

October 24, 2017

October 18, 2017

Please reload

Archive
Please reload

Search By Tags
Please reload

Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square

© 2017 by Parkinson's Australia  PO Box 108, Deakin West, ACT 2600

ABN 46 011 714 078 

INFO LINE 1800 644 189

Parkinson's Australia Privacy Policy