Neuroscience

Biologist leads pioneering study on stress

A biologist at Louisiana State University conducted a pioneering research study that could help us to better understand the role of dopamine in stress resilience in humans through analyzing wild songbirds. This study could ...

Parkinson's & Movement disorders

Antioxidant precursor molecule could improve Parkinson's

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a naturally occurring molecule that replenishes one of the body's antioxidants and now shows potential benefit as part of a standard course of treatment for patients with Parkinson's disease, according ...

Neuroscience

How procrastinators and doers differ genetically

Some people tend to postpone actions. In women, this trait is associated with a genetic predisposition toward a higher level of dopamine in the brain. This is what researchers from Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the Technical ...

Neuroscience

Unraveling the brain's reward circuits

To some, a chocolate cake may spark a shot of pleasure typically associated with illicit drugs. A new study by Penn biologists offers some insights into that link, revealing new information about how the brain responds to ...

Parkinson's & Movement disorders

A new drug target for chemically induced Parkinson's disease

More than three decades ago, scientists discovered that a chemical found in a synthetic opioid, MPTP, induced the onset of a form of Parkinson's disease. In a new study led by scientists from the School of Veterinary Medicine, ...

Neuroscience

Study reveals roots of Parkinson's in the brain

Researchers from King's College London have uncovered the earliest signs of Parkinson's disease in the brain, many years before patients show any symptoms. The results, published in The Lancet Neurology, challenge the traditional ...

Immunology

How chronic inflammation may drive down dopamine and motivation

Growing evidence shows that the brain's dopamine system, which drives motivation, is directly affected by chronic, low-grade inflammation. A new paper proposes that this connection between dopamine, effort and the inflammatory ...

Neuroscience

Unexplored neural circuit modulates memory strength

Learning to avoid negative experiences requires an interplay of two distinct brain circuits, one to interpret "Yikes!" and drive learning, and the other, unexpectedly, to dial in the strength of that memory, a new fruit fly ...

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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