Levodopa replacement therapy has long provided the most effective treatment for Parkinson's disease (PD). We review how this dopamine (DA) precursor enhances dopaminergic transmission by providing a greater sphere of neurotransmitter influence as a result of the confluence of increased quantal size and decreased DA reuptake, as well as loading DA as a false transmitter into surviving serotonin neuron synaptic vesicles. We further review literature on how presynaptic dysregulation of DA release after l-dopa might trigger dyskinesias in PD patients.
Keywords: Parkinson's Disease; dopamine; dyskinesia; levodopa; presynaptic; serotonin.
© 2014 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.