CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
L-dopa pill. View of a pill containing the drugs L-dopa and carbidopa used to treat Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's disease is thought to be due to a lack of the brain chemical dopamine. L-dopa (an acronym for L-dihydroxyphenylalanine) is converted into dopamine in the brain. Carbidopa is a chemical which blocks the action of an enzyme which destroys L-dopa before it reaches the brain. When given with carbidopa, much smaller doses of L-dopa need to be administered. Parkinson's disease causes muscle tremors, rigidity and stiffness. There is no cure, although L-dopa may relieve the symptoms for a while.
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