Dopamine, the major neurotransmitter depleted in Parkinson disease, can be synthesized and regulated in vivo with a combination of intrastriatal AAV-hAADC gene therapy and administration of the dopamine precursor l-Dopa. When tested in MPTP-lesioned monkeys, this approach resulted in long-term improvement in clinical rating scores, significantly lowered l-Dopa requirements, and a reduction in l-Dopa-induced side effects. Positron emission tomography with [(18)F]FMT confirmed persistent AADC activity, demonstrating for the first time that infusion of AAV vector into primate brain results in at least 6 years of transgene expression. AAV-hAADC restores the ability of the striatum to convert l-Dopa into dopamine efficiently. Introduction of this therapy into the clinic holds promise for Parkinson patients experiencing the motor complications that result from escalating l-Dopa requirements against a background of disease progression.