Intended for healthcare professionals


Broad beans for Parkinson’s . . . and other stories

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: (Published 27 July 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3518

Botanical sources of levodopa

Several plants, including the broad bean, contain appreciable quantities of levodopa. A randomised controlled trial (Neurology doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000004175) investigated whether the powdered seeds of one of them, Mucuna pruriens, had a worthwhile effect in people with Parkinson’s. The researchers hoped it might be a source of the drug for people too poor to buy tablets. Although a single dose was as effective in relieving motor symptoms at 90 and 180 minutes as standard preparations of levodopa, the trial produced no data about longer term benefits or harms.

Bullying among teenagers

Cyberbullying involves repeated personal attacks using instant messaging, social media postings, emails, text messages, and websites. The fact that it can be …

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