The dopa decarboxylase inhibitors appeared on the scene at almost the same time as levodopa, but remained in the wings for a while as the latter became the major therapeutic tool in the treatment of parkinsonism. These agents have been of great interest to the physiologist, to the neurochemist, and to the clinician treating the parkinson patient. In the latter context, there are several problems that continue to beg for solution: the elimination of peripheral side effects resulting from levodopa administration (such as nausea and vomiting or orthostatic hypotension); a means of eliminating the "on and off" periods that interrupt a patient's daily function; and the elimination of the centrally mediated dyskinesias resulting from dopamine spillover in the basal ganglia. Many clinicians eagerly viewed the decarboxylase inhibitors as a solution to these problems, and in part this is true.
This book is the published report of a conference at Columbia