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133
IMAGES IN NEUROLOGY
Darkening of white hair in Parkinson`s disease
during use of levodopa rich Mucuna pruriens
extract powder
Escurecimento do cabelo branco na doença de Parkinson durante tratamento com extrato
em pó de Mucuna pruriens rico em levodopa
Renato P Munhoz
1
, Hélio A G Teive
2
An 85-year-old patient with stable Parkinsons disease
(PD), treated with levodopa/carbidopa 250/25 mg tid. During
a follow-up visit, it was noticed that her temporal white hair
was getting progressively darker (Figure), starting after intro-
duction of Mucuna pruriens extract (MPE) at a dose equiva-
lent to 1000 mg of levodopa/day. Hair and beard darkening
was recognized as a complication of treatment with levodopa
in PD since its earliest introduction.
1
DOPA/dopamine are in-
termediate metabolites in the production of melanin, there-
fore, this association is not surprising. After the addition of
decarboxylase inhibitors, this phenomenon, probably related
to peripheral eects of levodopa, became strikingly rare.
1
MD MSc at State of Paraná Parkinson Association, Curitiba PR, Brazil;
2
MD PhD at Movement Disorders Unit, Neurology Service, Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR), Curitiba PR, Brazil.
Correspondence: Renato Puppi Munhoz; Travessa Lange 225; 80240-170 Curitiba PR – Brazil; E-mail: renatopuppi@yahoo.com
Conflict of interest: There is no conflict of interest to declare.
Received: 12 September 2012; Received in final form: 20 September 2012; Accepted: 27 September 2012
Figure. (A) The patient at the age of 62 year; (B) Showing hair
darkening after use of Macuna Pruriens extract powder.
1. Reynolds NJ, Crossley J, Ferguson I, Peachey RD. Darkening of white hair in Parkinson’s disease. Clin Exp Dermatol 1989;14:317-318.
References
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IMAGES IN NEUROLOGY
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... Anecdotally, a woman with white hair has been described that after 3 months of treatment with Mucuna, it turned back to black [50], "like when I was young," she said. This is food for thought: the threads connecting youth, dopamine, sufering, old age, stress, and gray hair [48,49]. ...
... There is a possibility that the inhibition of tyrosinase by α-synuclein [15] might result in earlier onset of hair greying due to decreased melanogenesis in hair follicles. It is also of interest to note that darkening of grey hair in PD patients following L-dopa therapy has been reported [24][25][26]. ...
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