The effects of pharmacological intervention on brain muscarinic cholinergic receptor (mAChR) binding were assessed in seven patients with Parkinson's disease by positron emission tomography and carbon-11 labelled N-methyl-4-piperidyl benzilate ([[sup 11]C]NMPB). [[sup 11]C]NMPB was injected twice, approximately 2 hours apart, in each patient, to assess the effect of single doses of 4 mg of trihexyphenidyl (n=5) or 400 mg of L-dopa with 57 mg of benserazide (n=2) on the binding parameter of mAChRs (K[sub 3]). There was a mean 28% inhibition of K[sub 3] values in the brain in the presence of trihexyphenidyl, which was assumed to reflect mAChR occupancy. No significant change in K[sub 3] was observed in the presence of L-dopa. This study demonstrates the feasibility of measuring mAChR occupancy by an anticholinergic medication with PET.