News tagged with dopamine

Related topics: brain , parkinson s disease , brain cells , attention deficit hyperactivity disorder , biological psychiatry

Dopamine leaves its mark in brain scans

Researchers use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify which areas of the brain are active during specific tasks. The method reveals areas of the brain, in which energy use and hence oxygen ...

Nov 21, 2014
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Halloween, fear and the brain

Children and adults alike are digging out those spooky costumes ready for a celebration. We've reached that time of year again: Halloween. October 31 is dedicated to remembering the dead.

Oct 31, 2014
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Real-time readout of neurochemical activity

Scientists have created cells with fluorescent dyes that change color in response to specific neurochemicals. By implanting these cells into living mammalian brains, they have shown how neurochemical signaling ...

Oct 26, 2014
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Dopamine

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter occurring in a wide variety of animals, including both vertebrates and invertebrates. In the brain, this phenethylamine functions as a neurotransmitter, activating the five types of dopamine receptors — D1, D2, D3, D4, and D5, and their variants. Dopamine is produced in several areas of the brain, including the substantia nigra and the ventral tegmental area. Dopamine is also a neurohormone released by the hypothalamus. Its main function as a hormone is to inhibit the release of prolactin from the anterior lobe of the pituitary.

Dopamine can be supplied as a medication that acts on the sympathetic nervous system, producing effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure. However, because dopamine cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, dopamine given as a drug does not directly affect the central nervous system. To increase the amount of dopamine in the brains of patients with diseases such as Parkinson's disease and dopa-responsive dystonia, L-DOPA (levodopa), which is the precursor of dopamine, can be given because it can cross the blood-brain barrier.

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