To study changes in amino acid metabolism and biogenic amines in Parkinson's disease, we set up a prospective study and measured biogenic amines, their main metabolites, and 22 different amino acids, in cerebrospinal fluid of Parkinson's disease patients (n = 24) and age-matched controls (n = 30). A trend toward higher dopamine levels in Parkinson's disease patients was interpreted as an effect of treatment with levodopa and/or selegiline. Significantly lower concentrations of the dopamine metabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid in the Parkinson's disease group might reflect dopaminergic cell loss. Our results revealed decreased serotonin catabolism that was interpreted as an effect of treatment with selegiline. Whereas all amino acid levels were unchanged, taurine was significantly lower in Parkinson's disease patients. Studies showed that taurine exerts a trophic action on the central nervous system. In this view, decreased taurine in a neurodegenerative disorder as Parkinson's disease deserves attention.
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