Journal Mobile

MR Lee
Journal Issue: 
Volume 40: Issue 1: 2010




The  period  1940–80  in  the  history  of  ergot  was  dominated  by  two investigators, Arthur  Stoll  and  Albert  Hofmann.  There  was  great  excitement when  their  group  isolated  from  ergot  preparations  the  powerful  psychotropic agent lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). It was thought that this substance would help  to  find  the  cause  of  schizophrenia  and  other  psychotic  disorders,  but  it would  prove  to  be  a  great  disappointment  and  Hofmann  would  say  later,  in private,  that  he  regretted  having  spent  so  much  time  on  the  compound.  By contrast,  bromocriptine,  derived  from  ergocriptine,  would  prove  a  pivotal substance  in  our  knowledge  of  dopamine  receptors  in  the  central  nervous system.  It  is  widely  used  for  the  suppression  of  lactation,  the  treatment  of prolactinomas and the management of Parkinson’s disease.