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October 15, 1973

Undesirable Prepubertal Effects of Levodopa

JAMA. 1973;226(3):355. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230030067030

To the Editor.—  Histochemical studies indicate that dopamine is the primary amine in the median eminence. It is located in close contact to the capillaries of the pituitary portal system.1 The hypothalamus contains high concentrations of norepinephrine.Recent observations on human subjects report that the oral administration of levodopa practically shuts off prolactin secretion2,3 but raises growth hormone4 and follicle-stimulating hormone levels in the blood for a period of four to six hours after each dose.4,5 This probably results from stimulation of the hypothalamus to secrete inhibiting and releasing factors.6,7The following observation is probably interesting in two respects—first, because of the clinical effects of prolonged levodopa administration; second, because of the low dose in which orally given levodopa may be active in children. In 1971 a 12-year-old boy weighing 35 kg was observed because of psychomotor epilepsy and behavior disturbances that persisted after suppression