Levodopa (L-DOPA), the most reliable and effective drug used in the treatment of parkinsonism, can be con sidered a form of replacement therapy. Levodopa is the biochemical precursor of dopamine (Fig. 31.2). It is used to elevate dopamine levels in the neostriatum of parkin-sonian patients. Dopamine itself does not cross the blood-brain barrier and therefore has no CNS effects. However, levodopa, as an amino acid, is transported into the brain by amino acid transport systems, where it
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