News tagged with dopamine

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

Dopamine not about pleasure (anymore)

(Medical Xpress)—To John Salamone, professor of psychology and longtime researcher of the brain chemical dopamine, scientific research can be very slow-moving.

Dec 03, 2012
popularity 4.9 / 5 (14) | comments 1 | with audio podcast

Delving deep into the brain

Launched in 2013, the national BRAIN Initiative aims to revolutionize our understanding of cognition by mapping the activity of every neuron in the human brain, revealing how brain circuits interact to create ...

May 01, 2014
popularity 4.8 / 5 (13) | comments 0

Turning off depression in the brain

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons of the brain's reward circuit and experimentally reversed it – but there's ...

Apr 17, 2014
popularity 4.3 / 5 (13) | comments 2

Brain parasite directly alters brain chemistry

A research group from the University of Leeds has shown that infection by the brain parasite Toxoplasma gondii, found in 10-20 per cent of the UK's population, directly affects the production of dopamine, a key chemical messen ...

Nov 04, 2011
popularity 5 / 5 (11) | comments 3 | with audio podcast

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

Who learns from the carrot, and who from the stick?

To flexibly deal with our ever-changing world, we need to learn from both the negative and positive consequences of our behaviour. In other words, from punishment and reward. Hanneke den Ouden from the Donders Institute in ...

Nov 22, 2013
popularity 4.1 / 5 (12) | comments 0 | with audio podcast

Coffee drinking tied to lower risk of suicide

Drinking several cups of coffee daily appears to reduce the risk of suicide in men and women by about 50 percent, according to a new study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). The st ...

Jul 25, 2013
popularity 4.4 / 5 (10) | comments 3 | with audio podcast

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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