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J Neurol Sci. 1978 Sep;38(2):215-27.

Abnormal epinephrine urinary excretion in Parkinsonians: correction of the disorder by levodopa administration.


Epinephrine (E) and norepinephrine (NE) as well as vanilmandelic acid (VMA) urinary excretion was investigated in 54 patient with Parkinsonism and 29 controls. In Parkinsonians the mean value of NE excretion was normal, while that of E was significantly higher than in controls (P less than 0.001). Analysis of results in terms of age showed that only the patients in the 5th and 6th decades displayed significant increases in E excretion when compared to age-matched controls. No age-group differences were found for NE excretion. VMA was significantly higher in Parkinsonians than in controls. Both in Parkinsonians and in controls VMA excretion correlated significantly with that of NE but not with the E excretion. Ten-day treatment with levodopa (1.5 g/day) of Parkinsonians below the age of 60 was followed by a constant decrease in the excretion of E and a less consistent, nonsignificant increase in the excretion of NE. The abnormality of E excretion noticed in younger Parkinsonians suggests involvement in the pathologic process, of adrenal medulla, the main site of E synthesis.

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