Neuroscience

How serotonin curbs cocaine addiction

Contrary to common thinking, cocaine triggers an addiction in only 20 percent of consumers. But what happens in their brains when they lose control of their consumption? Thanks to a recent experimental method, neuroscientists ...

Medical research

Role of dopamine in consciousness

Consciousness is arguably the most important scientific topic there is. Without consciousness, there would after all be no science. But while we all know what it is like to be conscious—meaning that we have personal awareness ...

Medications

Innovative gel offers new hope to defeat Parkinson's disease

Researchers from The Australian National University (ANU), in collaboration with The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, have developed a new type of hydrogel that could radically transform how we treat Parkinson's ...

page 1 from 40

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