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L-dopa and arousal
  1. Thomas B. Horvath,
  2. Russell A. Meares
  1. Department of Medicine, Austin Hospital, University of Melbourne, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
  2. Department of Psychiatry, Austin Hospital, University of Melbourne, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia


    In 10 patients with Parkinsonism, treatment with L-dopa was associated with a rise in the skin conductance level and its fluctuations, an increased electromyographic activity in the frontalis muscle, and with faster reaction times. The change of skin conductance in response to a loud noise also increased and its habituation to the repetition of the stimulus was delayed. One patient developed a schizophreniform psychosis and showed high arousal and absent habituation. It is possible that dopamine is the transmitter associated with the arousal reaction and that it plays a part in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.

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    • 1 This investigation was supported by the N.H. and M.R.C. of Australia.

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