The processes described in the paragraph above quantitatively contribute only marginally to total tyrosine turnover and the limited data on tyrosine supplementation in phenylketonuria suggest that tyrosine deficiency is not causal in the development of cognitive dysfunction in the disease. In two studies tyrosine supplementation has been found to modestly increase mental status and cognitive performance following exhausting efforts such as prolonged wakefulness and intensive military training. In contrast, tyrosine derivatives (l-dopa, noradrena-line, adrenaline) have strong pharmacological properties. l-dopa is the direct precursor of dopamine synthesis and has been found to have strong beneficial effects in Parkinson's disease. The fact that administration of tyrosine as the physiological precursor of catecholamines has no or minor effects on catecholamine-induced sympathic activity, whereas the effects of the catecholamines or more direct precursors is very strong, suggests that tyrosine hydro-xylation to l-dopa is not limited by substrate availability.

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