Medicine: Surprising Clue to Parkinson's

A California street drug is linked to the disease

When George Carillo arrived at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose one steamy July day in 1982, he seemed more a mannequin than a man. The 42-year-old heroin addict was bent over and twisted, drooling and unable to speak; almost every muscle was immobilized. No one knew what to make of his condition, so a call went out for Dr. J. William Langston, the hospital's chief neurologist. Langston took one look and was amazed. Carillo's symptoms suggested that he had been suffering for at least a decade from Parkinson's disease, a nervous system disorder that causes tremors and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!