In article <BILL.93Oct31212820 at cortex.nsma.arizona.edu> bill at nsma.arizona.edu (Bill Skaggs) writes:
>There is at least one very well established example, a hallucinogenic
>designer drug called MPTP that turned out to cause Parkinsonian
>symptoms, such as tremor, slowness of movement, or even paralysis. It
>causes these things by destroying neurons in a part of the brain
>called the substantia nigra, which is the same part damaged in
>Parkinson's disease. In fact, MPTP is now being used in an animal
>model for Parkinson's disease.
It wasn't a hallucinogenic designer drug, it was a botched attempt
at producing a meperidine analogue (i.e., a synthetic opioid), but
one of the unwanted by-products of the synthesis was MPTP, which
is metabolized to a paraquat-like substance which damages dopaminergic
neurons in the substantia nigra.
dyer at ursa-major.spdcc.com