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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.
People who experience migraine in middle age may develop movement disorders later in life

People who experience migraine in middle age may develop movement disorders later in life

A new study suggests that people who experience migraine in middle age may be more likely to develop Parkinson's disease, or other movement disorders later in life. Those who have migraine with aura may be at double the risk of developing Parkinson's, according to the study published in the September 17, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. [More]
Migraine in middle age linked to Parkinson's disease

Migraine in middle age linked to Parkinson's disease

A paper recently published in American Academy of Neurology suggests that migraine in middle age may indicate an increased risk of developing a movement disorder, such as Parkinson’s disease. The study also showed that people who experienced migraine with aura were twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease compared with those who did not suffer from headaches. [More]
Researchers gain new knowledge about complex processes that cause Parkinson's disease

Researchers gain new knowledge about complex processes that cause Parkinson's disease

Using advanced computer models, neuroscience researchers at the University of Copenhagen have gained new knowledge about the complex processes that cause Parkinson's disease. The findings have recently been published in the prestigious Journal of Neuroscience. [More]
Neuroscientists discover key gene linked to origins of speech

Neuroscientists discover key gene linked to origins of speech

Neuroscientists have found that a gene mutation that arose more than half a million years ago may be key to humans' unique ability to produce and understand speech. [More]
FDA approves Contrave extended-release tablets for chronic weight management

FDA approves Contrave extended-release tablets for chronic weight management

Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. and Orexigen® Therapeutics, Inc. jointly announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Contrave® extended-release tablets as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults with an initial body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or greater (obese), or 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbid condition. [More]
Study ties eating in response to food cues to habit-forming region in obese adults

Study ties eating in response to food cues to habit-forming region in obese adults

People who are obese may be more susceptible to environmental food cues than their lean counterparts due to differences in brain chemistry that make eating more habitual and less rewarding, according to a National Institutes of Health study published in Molecular Psychiatry. [More]
Research to help patients suffering from severe spinal cord injuries

Research to help patients suffering from severe spinal cord injuries

Many patients suffer from severe spinal cord injuries after being involved in traffic accidents or accidents at work. [More]
HSP90 suggested as potential therapeutic target in PD

HSP90 suggested as potential therapeutic target in PD

Heat shock protein (HSP90) has been suggested to be involved in neuronal protein misfolding and accumulation in Parkinson's disease (PD) brains leading to dopaminergic neuronal death and the eventual dopamine depletion. [More]

NeuroDerm signs definitive investment agreements for $16 million financing round

NeuroDerm Ltd., a clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing drugs for central nervous system (CNS) diseases, today announced that it has signed definitive investment agreements for a $16 million financing round led by certain of its existing investors with the participation of new investors, including The Elias Group. [More]
Dopamine therapy linked to increased impulse control disorders, daytime sleepiness in early PD patients

Dopamine therapy linked to increased impulse control disorders, daytime sleepiness in early PD patients

New Penn Medicine research shows that neuropsychiatric symptoms such as depression, anxiety and fatigue are more common in newly diagnosed Parkinson's disease (PD) patients compared to the general population. [More]
Dopamine replacement therapy increases impulse control disorders in newly diagnosed PD patients

Dopamine replacement therapy increases impulse control disorders in newly diagnosed PD patients

New Penn Medicine research shows that neuropsychiatric symptoms such as depression, anxiety and fatigue are more common in newly diagnosed Parkinson's disease (PD) patients compared to the general population. [More]
Discovery of new mechanism could lead to next generation of drugs to treat schizophrenia

Discovery of new mechanism could lead to next generation of drugs to treat schizophrenia

Discovery of a new mechanism of drug action could lead to the next generation of drugs to treat schizophrenia. [More]
In vivo dopaminergic imaging strongly correlates with brain pathology

In vivo dopaminergic imaging strongly correlates with brain pathology

Striatal dopamine transporter binding, assessed using single-photon emission computed tomography, is strongly correlated with substantia nigra cell counts assessed at postmortem, say the authors of a study. [More]
Naltrexone may be effective in diminishing ICD symptoms in PD patients, study finds

Naltrexone may be effective in diminishing ICD symptoms in PD patients, study finds

Up to 20 percent of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and their families may confront a common but largely unrecognized challenge: the occurrence of impulse control disorders (ICDs) such as compulsive gambling, sexual behavior, eating, or spending. [More]
Obesity mutation MC4R can significantly contribute to weight gain at early age

Obesity mutation MC4R can significantly contribute to weight gain at early age

People who have the most common genetic mutation linked to obesity respond differently to pictures of appetizing foods than overweight or obese people who do not have the genetic mutation, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. [More]
XPro1595 drug can protect vulnerable neurons, reduce motor deficits in Parkinson's model

XPro1595 drug can protect vulnerable neurons, reduce motor deficits in Parkinson's model

An experimental anti-inflammatory drug can protect vulnerable neurons and reduce motor deficits in a rat model of Parkinson's disease, researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have shown. [More]
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]