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Laevo-dihydroxyphenylalanine, a substance that is synthesized in the body from tyrosine and is an immediate precursor of dopamine. Dopamine cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, but l-dopa can, therefore a synthetic form of l-dopa is used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, which arises from a failure of dopamine production in the brain. Also called levodopa. See also antiparkinsonian, aphrodisiac, dopa. [From laevo- indicating a left-handed form, from Latin laevus left + d(ihydr)o(xy)p(henyl)a(lanine)]

Subjects: Psychology.

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