Parkinsonism of various types has long been a debilitating and cruel affliction for significant numbers of people, and even today the cure remains elusive. The present volume explores the colorful and sometimes alarming history of the attempts to provide at least some relief from the symptoms of this disorder, commencing with interesting reports from ancient India and medieval Europe and continuing until the present time. Especial attention is devoted to L-DOPA therapy, still the leading pharmacological approach to the disorder more than forty years after its first application, and its place in the development of neurochemistry. But the employment of solanaceous plant alkaloid-based therapies, which dominated antiparkinsonian therapy until the mid-20th century, and the broad range of other approaches which found varying degrees of popularity, including those stimulated by the encephalitis epidemic which appeared in Europe during the First World War, are also discussed. The author concludes that antiparkinsonian therapy was never'irrational', but was rather always determined by prevailing medical, pharmacological and scientific paradigms, so that its history is inextricably linked with experimental and clinical developments in these fields.