Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Brief Clinical Note

Impaired recognition of emotion improved by L-DOPA in a patient with amygdala damage

Tatsuya Sato, M.D.1)2), Nobuyoshi Takahashi, M.D.1) and Mitsuru Kawamura, M.D.1)

1)Department of Neurology, Showa University School of Medicine
2)Department of Neurology, Omuta Tenryo Hospital

We examined the effect of levodopa (L-DOPA) in a patient with a lesion of the amygdala and impaired recognition of emotion. Before L-DOPA, recognition of fear and disgust was significantly impaired compared to recognition scores in controls. After receiving L-DOPA, the patient showed normal recognition of fear and disgust. After the drug wore off, recognition declined to her initial unmedicated performance. We hypothesized that L-DOPA may have activated dopaminergic systems involved in recognition of emotion such as the medial prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex, compensating for the amygdala dysfunction. Alternatively, L-DOPA may have activated intact portions of the amygdala.
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(CLINICA NEUROL, 48: 139|142, 2008)
key words: amygdala, recognition of emotion, L-DOPA, herpes simplex encephalitis

(Received: 24-Feb-07)