News tagged with dopamine

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

Researchers create 'Wikipedia' for neurons

The decades worth of data that has been collected about the billions of neurons in the brain is astounding. To help scientists make sense of this "brain big data," researchers at Carnegie Mellon University ...

Mar 30, 2015
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GDNF not needed by the midbrain dopamine system

A key factor in the motor symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease is the gradual destruction of dopamine neurons. The glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor, or GDNF, has been proven to protect dopamine neurons in test ...

Mar 04, 2015
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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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