From DOPA to Parkinson's disease: the early history of dopamine research

Daniel L. Roe
Washington University, St. Louis, MO

Dopamine is among the most well-researched neurotransmitters at the present time. For the first half-century of neurotransmitter research, however, interest in dopamine was minimal, and only a few scattered groups of talented researchers studied it. It was their research that stimulated current interest, and provided the background for our present understanding of this important substance. By the late l950s it was clear to these individuals that dopamine served an important physiological role in mammalian brains, and that its role was most likely that of a central nervous system agonist. Soon after this, dopamine, or more specifically the depletion of dopamine, was clearly implicated in Parkinson's disease. This paper looks at the early history of the physiological roles of this intriguing compound.

Poster Session II
Friday, 20 June 1997, 16.10 - 16.40

Second Annual Meeting of the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences (ISHN) and 6th Meeting of the European Club on the History of Neurology (ECHN)

Leiden, The Netherlands