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The Arts and Medicine
October 11, 2016

The EffectA New Play Takes on Psychopharmacology, in All Its Human and Scientific Complexity

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai West and Mount Sinai St Luke’s Hospitals, New York, New York

Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2016;316(14):1434-1435. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.14526

This play’s action unfolds during a dose-seeking trial of a still unnamed but promisingly potent dopamine agonist. The study participants are confined for a month in a residential clinical research facility set on the grounds of an abandoned psychiatric hospital. Every day they line up for a capsule of drug RLU37, slowly escalating in dose from 25 mg to 250 mg.

Two of the participants fall truly, madly, deeply in love. Or is it really love? Maybe it’s just all that artificially boosted dopamine.

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