Born: 25 January 1923, Uppsala, Sweden
Died: 29 June 2018, Gothenburg, Sweden
Affiliation at the time of the award: Göteborg University, Gothenburg, Sweden
Prize motivation: "for their discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system."
Prize share: 1/3
Arvid Carlsson was born in Uppsala, Sweden, to parents who were both academics. He grew up in Lund, where his father had become a professor of history. Arvid studied medicine and pharmacology at Lund University, where he later conducted his Nobel Prize-awarded research. He became a professor of pharmacology at the University of Gothenburg in 1959. Arvid Carlsson is married with five children, including daughter Maria, with whom he has conducted research.
The body functions of man and animals are controlled by electric and chemical signals between the cells in our nervous system. Contacts between cells are called synapses, and special substances, called neurotransmitters, send the signals. Arvid Carlsson discovered a neurotransmitter called dopamine in the brain and described its role in our ability to move. This led to the realization that Parkinson's disease is caused by a lack of dopamine, allowing for the development of drugs for the disease.