The Debut Of L-Dopa
On this date in 1970, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug L-Dopa, or levodopa. The drug revolutionized the treatment of Parkinsonís disease, a disorder of the bodyís motor system that can cause rigidity in the body, abnormal walking, shaking or tremors, unsteady posture, and slowed movements. L-Dopa and other related drugs help the body make its own dopamine, a neurotransmitter normally produced by a part of the brain called the substantia nigra that is missing in Parkinson patients. Although there is no cure for Parkinsonís, some of its symptoms can be eased with L-Dopa and other drugs.
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