Dopamine action and disorders of neurotransmitter balance

Gerontology. 1987;33(3-4):168-71. doi: 10.1159/000212871.


Disorders of neurotransmitter balance are observed in Parkinson's disease, pharmacotoxic psychosis and depression. The dopamine-serotonin ratio is reduced to about 20% in Parkinson and pharmacotoxic patients in the caudate nucleus and in the substantia nigra. The serotonin content in these brain areas is lowered only to about 50% in comparison to that of the control, whereas the dopamine level is reduced to 85% in Parkinson patients. This dopamine deficiency has been substituted by exogenous supply of L-dopa in combination with decarboxylase and monoaminooxydase inhibitors. First evidence is presented that L-dopa can be replaced, at least partially, by iron in form of a ferriascorbate complex. This iron compound improves the symptoms of Parkinson's disease to almost the same extent as L-dopa.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Caudate Nucleus / metabolism
  • Depression / metabolism*
  • Dopamine / deficiency
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Norepinephrine / metabolism*
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism*
  • Psychoses, Substance-Induced / metabolism*
  • Red Nucleus / metabolism
  • Serotonin / metabolism*
  • Substantia Nigra / metabolism


  • Serotonin
  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine