Arvid Carlsson

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Arvid Carlsson
Arvid Carlsson 2011a.jpg
Born (1923-01-25) 25 January 1923 (age 101)
Uppsala, Sweden
Nationality Swedish
Alma mater Lund University
Known for Dopamine
Notable awards Magnus Blix’ Prize (1947)
Pehr Dubb’s Gold Medal (1970)
Anders Jahre’s Medical Prize (1974)
Stanley R Dean Lecture and Award (1975)
Wolf Prize in Medicine (1979)
Gairdner Foundation Award (1982)
Bristol-Myers Award (1989)
Paul Hoch Prize (1990)
Fred Springer Award (1990)
William K Warren Schizophrenia Research Award (1991)
Julius Axelrod Medal (1992)
Lieber Prize (1994)
Japan Prize (1994)
Antonio Feltrinelli International Award (1999)
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (2000)

Arvid Carlsson (born 25 January 1923) is a Swedish scientist who is best known for his work with the neurotransmitter dopamine and its effects in Parkinson's disease. For his work on dopamine, Carlsson was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2000,[1] along with co-recipients Eric Kandel and Paul Greengard.

Carlsson was born in Uppsala, Sweden, son of Gottfrid Carlsson, historian and later professor of history at the Lund University, where he began his medical education in 1941. In 1944 he was participating in the task of examining prisoners of Nazi concentration camps, who Folke Bernadotte, a member of the royal Swedish family, had managed to bring to Sweden. Although Sweden was neutral during World War II, Carlsson's education was interrupted by several years of service in the Swedish Armed Forces. In 1951, he received his M.L. degree (the equivalent of the American M.D.) and his M.D. (the equivalent of the American Ph.D.). He then became a professor at the University of Lund. In 1959 he became a professor at the University of Gothenburg.

In 1957 Kathleen Montagu succeeded in demonstrating the presence of dopamine in the human brain; later that same year Carlsson also demonstrated that dopamine was a neurotransmitter in the brain and not just a precursor for norepinephrine.[2][3]

While working at Astra AB, Carlsson and his colleagues were able to derive the first marketed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, zimelidine, from brompheniramine.[1]

Carlsson developed a method for measuring the amount of dopamine in brain tissues. He found that dopamine levels in the basal ganglia, a brain area important for movement, were particularly high. He then showed that giving animals the drug reserpine caused a decrease in dopamine levels and a loss of movement control. These effects were similar to the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. By administering to these animals L-Dopa, which is the precursor of dopamine, he could alleviate the symptoms. These findings led other doctors to try using L-Dopa on patients with Parkinson's disease, and found it to alleviate some of the symptoms in the early stages of the disease. L-Dopa is still the basis for most commonly used means of treating Parkinson's disease.[1]

Opposition to fluoridation of drinking water

Carlsson is opposed to the fluoridation of drinking water.[4][5] He took part in the debate in Sweden, where he helped to convince Parliament that water fluoridation should be illegal due to ethics. He believes that water fluoridation violates modern pharmacological principles, which indicate that medications should be tailored to individuals.[6] In addition, Carlsson has said "those nations who are using fluoridation should feel ashamed of themselves I think, it's against science, actually," because of a second reason, beyond the violation of individual choice, for why he believes it violates pharmacological principles—because mass fluoridation of water means fluoride is ingested, when its effect is topical and when the alternative of topical (local, external) application exists for those wishing to use it."[7]


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  4. Fluoride in drinking water can cause cancer, Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish)
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  6. Bryson C. The Fluoride Deception, p. 240.
  7. Nobel Laurette Dr. Arvid Carlsson On Water Fluoridation
  • Les Prix Nobel. 2001. The Nobel Prizes 2000, Editor Tore Frängsmyr, Nobel Foundation: Stockholm.

External links