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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.
Wayne State inks exclusive license agreement with TRImaran Pharma for novel class of drugs

Wayne State inks exclusive license agreement with TRImaran Pharma for novel class of drugs

Wayne State University recently entered into an exclusive license agreement with TRImaran Pharma Inc. for a class of novel drugs developed at Wayne State University that aims to offer hope in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), depression, ADHD and other neurological disorders. [More]
Study could open door for new treatment targets to help Parkinson's disease patients walk more easily

Study could open door for new treatment targets to help Parkinson's disease patients walk more easily

Two secrets of one of the brain's most enigmatic regions have finally been revealed. In a pair of new studies, scientists from the Gladstone Institutes have discovered a specific neural circuit that controls walking, and they found that input to this circuit is disrupted in Parkinson's disease. [More]
TSRI scientists discover molecular ‘switch’ that could reduce nicotine addiction

TSRI scientists discover molecular ‘switch’ that could reduce nicotine addiction

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered that a lipid in brain cells may act as a “switch” to increase or decrease the motivation to consume nicotine. [More]
Oral drug rivastigmine could help prevent falls in people with Parkinson’s

Oral drug rivastigmine could help prevent falls in people with Parkinson’s

Scientists have discovered that a commonly prescribed dementia drug could hold the key to helping prevent debilitating falls for people with Parkinson’s. [More]
New treatment strategy may take pain away

New treatment strategy may take pain away

A brain region controlling whether we feel happy or sad, as well as addiction, is remodeled by chronic pain, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study. [More]
Novel drug candidate prevents nerve cell damage in mouse model of Parkinson's disease

Novel drug candidate prevents nerve cell damage in mouse model of Parkinson's disease

A team of scientists at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and Longevity Biotech, Inc., has demonstrated that neuroprotection could be attained in preclinical models by a novel drug candidate that changes immune responses. [More]
Antibiotic resistance may help find drugs to combat amyloid formation

Antibiotic resistance may help find drugs to combat amyloid formation

Amyloid diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and type-2 diabetes pose a particular problem for drug designers because they do not present a clear target structure to aim at. [More]
UB researchers develop a way to ramp up conversion of skin cells into dopamine neurons

UB researchers develop a way to ramp up conversion of skin cells into dopamine neurons

For decades, the elusive holy grail in Parkinson's disease research has been finding a way to repair faulty dopamine neurons and put them back into patients, where they will start producing dopamine again. Researchers have used fetal material, which is difficult to obtain and of variable quality. Embryonic stem cells represented a tremendous innovation, but making dopamine neurons from stem cells is a long process with a low yield. [More]
Slower aging reduces degeneration related to Parkinson's disease

Slower aging reduces degeneration related to Parkinson's disease

Humans have long sought to reduce the effects of aging. Now, there may be another reason to continue searching for ways to slow the clock--preventing Parkinson's disease. [More]
Dopamine measurements provides information crucial for human choice

Dopamine measurements provides information crucial for human choice

Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientists have reported measurements of dopamine release with unprecedented temporal precision in the brains of people with Parkinson's disease. The measurements, collected during brain surgery as the conscious patients played an investment game, demonstrate how rapid dopamine release encodes information crucial for human choice. [More]
Brain imaging reveals distinctive aspects of high-inflammation depression

Brain imaging reveals distinctive aspects of high-inflammation depression

About one third of people with depression have high levels of inflammation markers in their blood. New research indicates that persistent inflammation affects the brain in ways that are connected with stubborn symptoms of depression, such as anhedonia, the inability to experience pleasure. [More]
Atypical antipsychotic shows bipolar I depression efficacy

Atypical antipsychotic shows bipolar I depression efficacy

The atypical antipsychotic cariprazine may be effective for the treatment of bipolar I depression, phase II study findings show. [More]
Interaction between two brain proteins has substantial effect on memory formation

Interaction between two brain proteins has substantial effect on memory formation

In a new study that could have implications for future drug discovery efforts for a number of neurodegenerative diseases, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found that the interaction between a pair of brain proteins has a substantial and previously unrecognized effect on memory formation. [More]
Testosterone cause of sex differences in the occurrence of Parkinson’s disease, new research suggests

Testosterone cause of sex differences in the occurrence of Parkinson’s disease, new research suggests

Men are twice as likely as women to develop Parkinson's disease, a nervous system disorder characterized by tremors and difficulty moving. New research to be presented at Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolic Diseases: Physiology and Gender suggests that the difference in risk may be due to the presence of the male sex hormone testosterone. [More]
Two genetic variants interact to alter the brain responses to high-calorie foods

Two genetic variants interact to alter the brain responses to high-calorie foods

For the first time, researchers have identified two genetic variants that interact to alter the brain responses to high-calorie foods, a tie that could aid in the development of targeted treatments for obesity and overweight. Researchers at Imperial College London led by Tony Goldstone, MD, PhD, of Consultant Endocrinologist, found that two gene variants - FTO and DRD2 - influenced activity in the brain reward system when looking at pictures of high-calorie foods. [More]
Unwanted formation of blood vessels in the brain may cause intractable difficulties for Parkinson's disease patients

Unwanted formation of blood vessels in the brain may cause intractable difficulties for Parkinson's disease patients

Unwanted formation of blood vessels (angiogenesis) in the brain is likely to be the cause of intractable walking and balance difficulties for people who suffer from Parkinson's disease. This conclusion is supported by new research from Lund University in Sweden. [More]
PolyU researchers develop novel biosensor for measuring glucose level in saliva

PolyU researchers develop novel biosensor for measuring glucose level in saliva

Diabetic patients have to monitor blood glucose regularly and frequently, but conventional method of taking blood sample for measuring glucose level is painful. It is therefore important to develop high performance biological sensors for monitoring the glucose level at a reasonable cost. [More]
Insulin plays a much stronger role in regulating release of dopamine

Insulin plays a much stronger role in regulating release of dopamine

Insulin, the hormone essential to all mammals for controlling blood sugar levels and a feeling of being full after eating, plays a much stronger role than previously known in regulating release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers, new studies by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center show. [More]
Researchers find that stem cell treatment may reduce cognitive impairment related to dementia with Lewy bodies

Researchers find that stem cell treatment may reduce cognitive impairment related to dementia with Lewy bodies

Neural stem cells transplanted into damaged brain sites in mice dramatically improved both motor and cognitive impairments associated with dementia with Lewy bodies, according to University of California, Irvine neurobiologists with the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center and the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders. [More]
Researchers one step closer to finding effective drug for alcohol dependence

Researchers one step closer to finding effective drug for alcohol dependence

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden might be one step closer to finding an effective drug for alcohol dependence. In two separate studies, they show that the so-called dopamine stabilizer OSU6162 can reduce the craving for alcohol in alcohol dependent people and normalises the level of dopamine in the brain reward system of rats that have consumed alcohol over a long period of time. [More]
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