News tagged with dopamine

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

The biology of addiction risk looks like addiction

Research suggests that people at increased risk for developing addiction share many of the same neurobiological signatures of people who have already developed addiction. This similarity is to be expected, as individuals ...

Jul 01, 2014
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Why it's so hard to diet

We tried low-fat diets. We tried high-protein and low-carb. Each diet had its pros and cons. By now, many Americans are coming to the inescapable conclusion that there's only one way to lose weight: eat less. Why is that ...

Jun 25, 2014
popularity 4.8 / 5 (5) | comments 1

Using femtosecond lasers to administer drugs

Combining physics and neurobiology to tackle Parkinson's Disease is research "I would never have been able to do outside of OIST," says Professor Keshav Dani. The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology ...

Jun 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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