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Sotnikova TD, Beaulieu JM, Barak LS, Wetsel WC, Caron MG, Gainetdinov RR. 
“Dopamine-Independent Locomotor Actions of Amphetamines in a Novel Acute Mouse Model of Parkinson Disease”. 
PLoS Biol. 2005 Aug 2;3(8):e271.
Brain dopamine is critically involved in movement control, and its deficiency is the primary cause of motor symptoms in Parkinson disease. Here we report development of an animal model of acute severe dopamine deficiency by using mice lacking the dopamine transporter. In the absence of transporter-mediated recycling mechanisms, dopamine levels become entirely dependent on de novo synthesis. Acute pharmacological inhibition of dopamine synthesis in these mice induces transient elimination of striatal dopamine accompanied by the development of a striking behavioral phenotype manifested as severe akinesia, rigidity, tremor, and ptosis. This phenotype can be reversed by administration of the dopamine precursor, L-DOPA, or by nonselective dopamine agonists. Surprisingly, several amphetamine derivatives were also effective in reversing these behavioral abnormalities in a dopamine-independent manner. Identification of dopamine transporter- and dopamine-independent locomotor actions of amphetamines suggests a novel paradigm in the search for prospective anti-Parkinsonian drugs.
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Apr 17, 2011 1:59
Lots of News #

This article has received quite a bit of media coverage:
  1. New Scientist
  3. San Diego Union Tribune

It is worth noting that most of the news seems to focus on the MDMA aspect, but meth and d-amphetamine are notably also highlighted. The other thing that is interesting is how many other psychoactives they looked at as well, including NMDA receptor antagonist (+)-MK-801, Clonidine, Atropine, Deprenyl, Caffeine, 5-MeO-DMT, NN-DMT, Alpha-Ethyl Tryptamine (AET), Fluoxetine and others.

It is worth noting that this paper was probably triggered by the human experience report of a person with PD who reported short term improvement in symptoms after taking ecstasy. The reason it received so much news coverage is probably because of the recent Ricaurte Error which wrongly suggested MDMA might actually cause Parkinson's Disease.
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