L-DOPA is a chemical that is made and used as part of the normal biology of humans, some animals and plants. Some animals and humans make it via biosynthesis from the amino acid L-tyrosine.
Legal status: Prescription drug
Levodopa useful in stroke rehabilitation
Levodopa can improve motor function recovery after stroke when given in combination with physiotherapy, German researchers say.
They investigated the effect of levodopa (100mg daily) on motor function recovery in 53 stroke patients. Motor recovery was significantly improved after three weeks in those on levodopa compared with placebo. The advantage of levodopa was maintained at the end of the study, three weeks after levodopa was stopped, and the drug was well tolerated. The researchers explain that experiments in animals have shown that administration of amphetamines improve motor function recovery, probably by increasing the concentration of noradrenaline in the central nervous system. Levodopa is metabolised to dopamine and then converted to noradrenaline in the brain, they explain (Lancet2001;358:787).
Source: The Pharmaceutical Journal