Parkinson's/cocaine

Mona Oommen oommen at brazil.psych.purdue.edu
Sun Mar 5 22:50:06 EST 1995


In article <3jdtmj$p0q at dingo.cc.uq.oz.au> lisao at psy.uq.oz.au (Lisa Olson) writes:
>Hi all ..
>
>I just had a quick question for all you pros out there ..
>If Parkinson's is caused by degeneration of certain 
>dopaminergic neurons, and L-Dopa is given as a treatment ..
>why isn't cocaine being used as a treatment as well or
>as an alternative if cocaine prevents the reuptake of
>dopamine.  Wouldn't cocaine and L-Dopa cause the same
>thing?
>
>Thanx,
>
>Lisa
>
> 

If it's true that cocaine prevents the reuptake of dopamine (sorry,
I'm at home and don't have too many resources on this), then it's
probably for that reason that cocaine isn't given.  L-Dopa is a
precursor for dopamine --the idea being that more dopamine needs to
be produced in the brain, and L-Dopa is converted to dopamine by what
is left of the dopaminergic neurons.  Administering something that
prevents the reuptake of dopamine would only cancel it out.  
Actually I'm not entirely sure that it is the remaining dopaminergic
neurons that do the job.  

(Anyone?)

-Mona Oommen




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