Historical Aspects and Frontiers of Parkinson’s Disease Research

  • Oleh Hornykiewicz
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 90)


From the historical point of view it would appear that right from the beginning of the era that we call modern medicine, drugs have been regarded as important tools in elucidating the biochemi cal pathology of disease. In the history of Parkinson’s disease there has been hardly a drug that has not been tried as a potential remedy. The long list includes such oddities as ferrisulfate, barium chloride, strychnine, metrazol, thyroid and parathyroid hormones, and — surprizingly — striaphorin, an extract of the striatum. Of all the older antiparkinson drugs, anticholinergics attained special significance because of their unquestionable (though low) therapeutic efficacy. However, these drugs also led the thinking of researchers astray because for a long time the effectiveness of the anticholinergic agents was taken as evidence that Parkinson’s disease may be primarily a disorder of cholinergic brain mechanisms.


Basal Ganglion Substantia Nigra Nucleus Accumbens Caudate Nucleus Dopamine Neuron 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oleh Hornykiewicz
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Biochemical PharmacologyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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