Doctor of Medicine, University Lund, Sweden, 1951. Doctor of Medicine (honorary), University Cagliary, Italy, 1976. Doctor of Pharmacy (honorary), University Uppsala, 1977.
Doctor of Philosophy (honorary), University Helsinki, Finland, 1990. Doctor of Philosophy (honorary), University Marburg, Germany, 1991.
Although Sweden was neutral during World World War II, Carlsson"s education was interrupted by several years of service in the Swedish Armed Forces. In 1951, he received his Master of Laws degree (the equivalent of the American Doctor of Medicine) and his Doctor of Medicine He then became a professor at the University of Lund. In 1959 he became a professor at the University of Gothenburg.
In 1957 Kathleen Montagu succeeded in demonstrating the presence of dopamine in the human brain.
Later that same year Carlsson also demonstrated that dopamine was a neurotransmitter in the brain and not just a precursor for norepinephrine. While working at Astra Bachelor of Arts, Carlsson and his colleagues were able to derive the first marketed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, zimelidine, from brompheniramine.
Carlsson developed a method for measuring the amount of dopamine in brain tissues. He found that dopamine levels in the basal ganglia, a brain area important for movement, were particularly high
He then showed that giving animals the drug reserpine caused a decrease in dopamine levels and a loss of movement control.
These effects were similar to the symptoms of Parkinson"s disease. By administering to these animals L-Dopa, which is the precursor of dopamine, he could alleviate the symptoms. These findings led other doctors to try using L-Dopa on patients with Parkinson"s disease, and found it to alleviate some of the symptoms in the early stages of the disease.
L-Dopa is still the basis for most commonly used means of treating Parkinson"s disease.
Carlsson is opposed to the fluoridation of drinking water. He took part in the debate in Sweden, where he helped to convince Parliament that water fluoridation should be illegal due to ethics.
He believes that water fluoridation violates modern pharmacological principles, which indicate that medications should be tailored to individuals. In addition, Carlsson has said "those nations who are using fluoridation should feel ashamed of themselves I think, it"s against science, actually," because of a second reason, beyond the violation of individual choice, for why he believes it violates pharmacological principles—because mass fluoridation of water means fluoride is ingested, when its effect is topical and when the alternative of topical (local, external) application exists for those wishing to use lieutenant".
Fellow: Academy Medicine & Psychiatry (honorary), Swedish Southern Biological Psychiatry (honorary), Medical Society Gothenburg (honorary). Member: National Academy of Sciences, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (Hilda & Alfred Erikkson's prize 1985), German Pharmacological Society, American College Neuropsychopharmacology (foreign), Japanese Pharmacological Society, Royal Science Society & Arts, Scandinavian Society Psychopharmacology (honorary), German Society Biological Psychiatry (honorary).
Married Ulla-Lisa Christoffersson, December 29, 1945. Children: Bo, Lena, Hans, Maria, Magnus.