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Controversies in Neurology
March 2000

Levodopa Toxicity

Author Affiliations


Arch Neurol. 2000;57(3):410. doi:10.1001/archneur.57.3.410

FEW DRUGS in medicine have had the dramatic impact of the introduction of levodopa in the late 1960s. Patients immobilized by parkinsonism experienced symptoms immortalized in Awakenings, Oliver W. Sacks' book and subsequent movie. In this issue of the ARCHIVES, Shulman1 and Weiner2 agree that levodopa decreases disability and may prolong life. They also agree that the experimental data on levodopa toxicity are inconclusive and that evidence of human nigral toxic effects is lacking.