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Dopamine is a hormone and 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 has many functions in the brain, including important roles in behavior and cognition, motor activity, motivation and reward, inhibition of prolactin production (involved in lactation), sleep, mood, attention, and learning. Dopaminergic neurons (i.e., neurons whose primary neurotransmitter is dopamine) are present chiefly in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the midbrain, substantia nigra pars compacta, and arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus.
More genetic suspects for schizophrenia brought to light

More genetic suspects for schizophrenia brought to light

A meta-analysis from the Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium has revealed a large number of previously unreported genetic loci that may have a role in schizophrenia. [More]
Study explores how changes in dopamine transporter function linked to brain disorders

Study explores how changes in dopamine transporter function linked to brain disorders

Recent published research in the Journal of Clinical Investigation demonstrates how changes in dopamine signaling and dopamine transporter function are linked to neurological and psychiatric diseases, including early-onset Parkinsonism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). [More]
Stimulating specific brain pathway may induce active emergence from anesthesia

Stimulating specific brain pathway may induce active emergence from anesthesia

Researchers may be one step closer to better understanding how anesthesia works. A study in the August issue of Anesthesiology, the official medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists- (ASA-), found stimulating a major dopamine-producing region in the brain, the ventral tegmental area (VTA), caused rats to wake from general anesthesia, suggesting that this region plays a key role in restoring consciousness after general anesthesia. [More]
Findings point to biological mechanisms and pathways that may underlie schizophrenia

Findings point to biological mechanisms and pathways that may underlie schizophrenia

As part of a multinational, collaborative effort, researchers from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and scores of other institutions from all over the world have helped identify over 100 locations in the human genome associated with the risk of developing schizophrenia, in what is the largest genomic study published on any psychiatric disorder to date. [More]
Common genetic variation in gene may modify cardiovascular benefit of aspirin

Common genetic variation in gene may modify cardiovascular benefit of aspirin

Aspirin is the gold standard for antiplatelet therapy and a daily low-dose aspirin is widely prescribed for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. [More]
Impaired inhibition of medium spiny neurons linked to depression-like behavior in juvenile WKY rats

Impaired inhibition of medium spiny neurons linked to depression-like behavior in juvenile WKY rats

Accumulating evidence suggests that the nucleus accumbens, which is involved in mechanisms of reward and addiction, plays a role in the pathogenesis of depression and in the action of antidepressants. [More]
Zhichan decoction promotes dopaminergic neurons following NSC transplantation in PD rats

Zhichan decoction promotes dopaminergic neurons following NSC transplantation in PD rats

There is an increasing interest in Parkinson's disease (PD) treatment by increasing dopamine content and reducing dopaminergic metabolites in the brain. [More]
Imaging biomarker proposed for Parkinson’s disease

Imaging biomarker proposed for Parkinson’s disease

Reduced off-medication connectivity in the basal ganglia network separates patients with early Parkinson’s disease from healthy controls with high accuracy, preliminary findings suggest. [More]
Urge incontinence therapy may relieve stress incontinence

Urge incontinence therapy may relieve stress incontinence

Anticholinergic medication appears to be effective as a treatment for stress and mixed urinary incontinence, results of a small clinical trial indicate. [More]
Study demonstrates that Parkinson's patients are more creative than their healthy peers

Study demonstrates that Parkinson's patients are more creative than their healthy peers

Prof. Rivka Inzelberg of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Sagol Neuroscience Center at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, documented the exceptional creativity of Parkinson's patients two years ago in a review for Behavioral Neuroscience. Since then, she has conducted the first empirical study to verify a link between Parkinson's disease and artistic inclination. [More]
Sleep problems in PD patients can worsen in later stages of disease

Sleep problems in PD patients can worsen in later stages of disease

Up to 70% of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients experience sleep problems that negatively impact their quality of life. [More]
Parkinson's disease drug could also help people with phobias or PTSD

Parkinson's disease drug could also help people with phobias or PTSD

A drug used to treat Parkinson's disease could also help people with phobias or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Scientists of the Translational Neurosciences Research Center at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz are currently exploring the effects of psychotherapy to extinguish fears in combination with L-dopa. [More]
Neuroprotective effects of lithium are likely related to gene expressions

Neuroprotective effects of lithium are likely related to gene expressions

Lithium, as a neuroprotective agent, benefits for neuronal survival. Recent cDNA array studies have demonstrated that mood stabilizer lithium exhibits neuroprotective effects through multiple targets. [More]
Cinnamon can be used to halt disease progression in Parkinson's patients

Cinnamon can be used to halt disease progression in Parkinson's patients

Neurological scientists at Rush University Medical Center have found that using cinnamon, a common food spice and flavoring material, can reverse the biomechanical, cellular and anatomical changes that occur in the brains of mice with Parkinson's disease (PD). [More]
Researchers identify genetic mutation that may cause parkinsonism in young people

Researchers identify genetic mutation that may cause parkinsonism in young people

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen and the Copenhagen University Hospital have identified a particular genetic mutation that may cause parkinsonism in young people. The mutation interferes with the brain's transport of the important signal substance dopamine and may also plays a role in mental diseases, e.g. ADHD. [More]
Study details brain mechanisms involved with addictive substances

Study details brain mechanisms involved with addictive substances

The National Institutes of Health has turned to neuroscientists at the nation's most "Stone Cold Sober" university for help finding ways to treat drug and alcohol addiction. [More]
Scientists one step closer to understanding the causes of Parkinson's disease

Scientists one step closer to understanding the causes of Parkinson's disease

Scientists have taken a step closer to understanding the causes of Parkinson's disease, identifying what's happening at a cellular level to potentially help develop future treatments. [More]
DBS improves motor and non motor symptoms of patients with early Parkinson's disease

DBS improves motor and non motor symptoms of patients with early Parkinson's disease

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has become a well-recognized non-pharmacologic treatment that improves motor symptoms of patients with early and advanced Parkinson's disease. [More]
Scientists use femtosecond lasers to tackle Parkinson's disease

Scientists use femtosecond lasers to tackle Parkinson's disease

Scientists are combining physics and neurobiology to tackle Parkinson's disease. The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University's Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit and Neurobiology Research Unit, along with collaborators at the University of Otago, New Zealand are using lasers, nanotechnology and neuroscience to develop a new, versatile drug delivery system. [More]
Brain iron levels offer potential biomarker in the diagnosis of ADHD

Brain iron levels offer potential biomarker in the diagnosis of ADHD

Brain iron levels offer a potential biomarker in the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and may help physicians and parents make better informed treatment decisions, according to new research published online in the journal Radiology. [More]