Stanislaw Wolfarth (1933-2007) and his work related to Parkinson's disease
Stanisław Wolfarth graduated at the Medical Academy in Kraków in 1963. He worked for over 40 years at the Institute of Pharmacology PAS, where he was a head of the Department of Neuropharmacology (1971–2003). Studies on the role of the basal ganglia in development of Parkinson’s disease became a passion of his life. One of his fi rst achievements was the fi nding that clinical relationship termed dopaminergic-cholinergic balance resulted from interactions of complex neuronal systems including the substantia nigra, striatum and other structures. He demonstrated that GABAergic pathways connecting the substantia nigra, thalamus and zona incerta - lateral hypothalamus controlled the muscle tone, and played a crucial role in initiation of movements. He was one of the authors of a prototypic device for objective measurement of the muscle tone of rat’s hind paw which is now the only apparatus of this type worldwide. Within the last 15 years he found antiparkinsonian properties of ligands of NMDA and metabotropic glutamate receptors in animal models, and discovered that muscle stiffness in the elderly had completely different pathophysiological basis than parkinsonian muscle rigidity. He was deeply involved in several international co-operations, was an author of over 90 scientifi c papers, and for his pioneer discoveries was highly prized by many scientifi c organizations. His works are characterized by amazing coherence of research objectives, consistency and up-to-dateness.