News tagged with dopamine

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

Is dopamine to blame for our addictions?

Most researchers agree that the key difference between human brains and those of other animals is the size and complexity of our cerebral cortex, the brain's outer layer of neural tissue. We therefore tend to focus our attention ...

Dec 03, 2015
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New insights on how cocaine changes the brain

The burst of energy and hyperactivity that comes with a cocaine high is a rather accurate reflection of what's going on in the brain of its users, finds a study published November 25 in Cell Reports. Through experiments conducted ...

Nov 25, 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.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA

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