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October 18, 2000

Dopamine Agonists in Early Therapy for Parkinson Disease: Promise and Problems

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Parkinson's Institute, Sunnyvale, Calif.

JAMA. 2000;284(15):1971-1973. doi:10.1001/jama.284.15.1971

The successful use of levodopa, the immediate precursor of dopamine, to reverse motor deficits in Parkinson disease (PD) revolutionized treatment.1 But for most patients with PD, the benefits of levodopa therapy have been tempered by adverse effects such as involuntary movements or hallucinations. These adverse effects occur in as many as 90% of patients receiving long-term treatment, although whether they are actually caused by levodopa treatment, or simply reflect progression of the underlying disease, is unknown.2