MR Lee



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.

Keywords  Bromocriptine, dopamine receptors, ergot, Albert Hofmann, lysergic acid diethylamide, psychosis

Declaration of Interests No conflict of interests declared.