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Hussain, G. and Manyam, B.V.. 
“Mucuna pruriens Proves More Effective than L-DOPA in Parkinson's Disease Animal Model”. 
Phytotherapy Research. 1997;11:419-23.
Seeds of the Mucuna pruriens plant, now known to contain L-DOPA, have long been used for the treatment of Parkinson's dissease patients in ancient Eastern Indian ethnotherapeutics. Following validation of the intrastraital 6-OHDA injection with amphetamine in the parkinsonian rat model, the animals were fed synthetic L-DOPA (125 or 250 mg/kg) or Mucuna pruriens endocarp (MPE, 2.5 or 5.0 g/kg) mixed with rat chow (n=6, for each dose and drug). Controls received no drug. An additional dose of L-DOPA or MPE in the same doses plus carbidopa (50 mg/kg) were administered via gavage (controls received only carbidopa 50 mg/kg) 1 h prior to testing with rotometer. Contralateral rotation (to the side of the 6-OHDA lesion) (CLR) was recorded for 240 min as a measure of antiparkinsonian activity. Results indicated that dose for dose, MPE showed twice the antiparkinsonian activity compared with synthetic L-DOPA in inducing CLR in the parkinsonian animal model. This study suggests that MPE may contain unidentified antiparkinsonian compounds in addition to L-DOPA, or it may have adjuvants that enhance the efficacy of L-DOPA.
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