News tagged with dopamine

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

Your genes affect your betting behavior

Investors and gamblers take note: your betting decisions and strategy are determined, in part, by your genes. University of California, Berkeley, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) researchers ...

Jun 16, 2014
popularity 5 / 5 (2) | comments 0

Drug could stop marijuana cravings

(Medical Xpress)—In the US, more people seek treatment for marijuana abuse than for abuse of cocaine or heroin. However, there are no approved treatments for marijuana addiction. Robert Schwarcz of the University ...

Oct 14, 2013
popularity 2.7 / 5 (19) | comments 20 | with audio podcast report

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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