Neuroprotective and Neurotoxic Roles of Levodopa (L-DOPA) in Neurodegenerative Disorders Relating to Parkinson's Disease

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Conference Proceeding

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Summary. Despite its being the most efficacious drug for symptom reversal in Parkinson's disease (PD), there is concern that chronic levodopa (L-DOPA) treatment may be detrimental. In this paper we review the potential for L-DOPA to 1) autoxidize from a catechol to a quinone, and 2) generate other reactive oxygen species (ROS). Overt toxicity and neuroprotective effects of L-DOPA, both in vivo and in vitro, are described in the context of whether L-DOPA may accelerate or delay progression of human Parkinson's disease.