One of the other strategies that we have that can treat Parkinson’s disease is to allow the dopamine that’s in the brain to hang around for longer. So we use a drug called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor. Monoamine oxidase is an enzyme that breaks down dopamine after it’s been produced in the brain. You’re familiar with the idea of enzymes because they’re the things that break down food in our gut and allow you to absorb the molecules. Well in the brain, if you produce dopamine and keep producing it would just be too much, so we have to have a way of clearing that, and that’s where the enzyme comes in.
So, the treatments that are available, such as Rasagiline, that is a treatment for a monoamine oxidase inhibitor that blocks these enzymes. It goes into the system and blocks the enzymes there over the course of a couple of weeks of taking that tablet. Pretty much all of that enzyme is blocked and allows the dopamine to hang around for longer. These tablets have probably very few side effects, but of course make dopamine stronger so if you are getting side effects from dopamine or levodopa tablets, like lowering your blood pressure or like feeling sleepy – these drugs may worsen that.