Dopamine News and Research RSS Feed - Dopamine News and Research

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.
New research elucidates details about architecture of synaptic transmission

New research elucidates details about architecture of synaptic transmission

For more than a century, neuroscientists have known that nerve cells talk to one another across the small gaps between them, a process known as synaptic transmission. [More]
Study finds risk markers for Parkinson's disease hiding in unusual spots

Study finds risk markers for Parkinson's disease hiding in unusual spots

Clues that point toward new risk mechanisms for developing Parkinson's disease are hiding in some unusual spots, according to a study published today in Scientific Reports [More]
Study sheds light on neuronal circuits during risky behavior

Study sheds light on neuronal circuits during risky behavior

New research sheds light on what's going on inside our heads as we decide whether to take a risk or play it safe. Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis located a region of the brain involved in decisions made under conditions of uncertainty, and identified some of the cells involved in the decision-making process. [More]
Scientists receive $2.4 million grant to advance stem cell therapy for Parkinson's disease

Scientists receive $2.4 million grant to advance stem cell therapy for Parkinson's disease

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and Scripps Clinic have received a grant of nearly $2.4 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to support safety and quality tests of a potential stem cell therapy for Parkinson's disease. [More]
Study examines link between craving and glutamate levels in the brain of patients with AUDs

Study examines link between craving and glutamate levels in the brain of patients with AUDs

Craving consists of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral elements related to a desire to drink alcohol, and can be experienced during intoxication, withdrawal, and/or prior to relapse. [More]
Researchers discover novel neuroprotection strategies to slow progression of Parkinson's disease

Researchers discover novel neuroprotection strategies to slow progression of Parkinson's disease

Using a robust model for Parkinson's disease, University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers and colleagues have discovered an interaction in neurons that contributes to Parkinson's disease, and they have shown that drugs now under development may block the process. [More]
Study compares aripiprazole and quetiapine for treatment of schizophrenia

Study compares aripiprazole and quetiapine for treatment of schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a common cause of incapacity and is ranked as the third-most-disabling illness subsequent to dementia and quadriplegia. [More]
Scientists reveal how manipulating novel target in the brain could lead to new therapies for depression

Scientists reveal how manipulating novel target in the brain could lead to new therapies for depression

Northwestern Medicine scientists have shown how manipulating a novel target in the brain using gene therapy could lead to new treatments for depression. [More]
Neuroscientists identify two distinct populations of dopamine neurons involved in movement, reward

Neuroscientists identify two distinct populations of dopamine neurons involved in movement, reward

Two Northwestern University neuroscientists have identified the neurochemical signal likely missing in Parkinson's disease by being the first to discover two distinctly different kinds of neurons that deliver dopamine to an important brain region responsible for both movement and learning/reward behavior. [More]
Leukemia drug increases brain dopamine, lowers toxic proteins linked to Parkinson's or dementia

Leukemia drug increases brain dopamine, lowers toxic proteins linked to Parkinson's or dementia

A small phase I study provides molecular evidence that an FDA-approved drug for leukemia significantly increased brain dopamine and reduced toxic proteins linked to disease progression in patients with Parkinson's disease or dementia with Lewy bodies. [More]
Mussels inspire scientists to attach biologically active molecule to titanium surface

Mussels inspire scientists to attach biologically active molecule to titanium surface

Titanium is used medically in applications such as artificial joints and dental implants. While it is strong and is not harmful to tissues, the metal lacks some of the beneficial biological properties of natural tissues such as bones and natural teeth. [More]
Activation of D2 neurons may help decrease alcohol consumption, research shows

Activation of D2 neurons may help decrease alcohol consumption, research shows

By activating particular neurons, we may be able to influence alcohol drinking behavior, according to new findings published by researchers at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in the journal Biological Psychiatry. [More]
Scientists discover key cellular mechanism behind side-effects of antipsychotics

Scientists discover key cellular mechanism behind side-effects of antipsychotics

Since their development in the 1950s, antipsychotic drugs have been widely used to treat psychoses and neuropsychiatric disorders like schizophrenia. A debilitating side-effect of these drugs called parkinsonism limits their efficacy. [More]
Regular marijuana use impacts the brain's natural response to rewards

Regular marijuana use impacts the brain's natural response to rewards

Most people would get a little 'rush' out of the idea that they're about to win some money. [More]
New research holds potential to improve fetal surgery outcomes

New research holds potential to improve fetal surgery outcomes

University of California, Berkeley engineer Phillip Messersmith is happy to be learning lessons from a lowly mollusk, with the expectation that the knowledge gained will enable him and fellow physicians to prevent deaths among their youngest patients -- those who haven't been born yet. [More]
Researchers discover surprising mismatch on either side of dopaminergic synapses

Researchers discover surprising mismatch on either side of dopaminergic synapses

Neurons are cells that transmit nerve impulses. Dopamine neurons are the main source of the chemical dopamine in the central nervous system and are few in number compared to other types of neurons in the brain. [More]
Study links dopamine D2 receptor to long-term episodic memory

Study links dopamine D2 receptor to long-term episodic memory

A European study led by Umea University Professor Lars Nyberg, has shown that the dopamine D2 receptor is linked to the long-term episodic memory, which function often reduces with age and due to dementia. [More]
Scientists discover link between two genes involved in PD and autoimmune diseases

Scientists discover link between two genes involved in PD and autoimmune diseases

A study publish in the journal CELL indicates that two genes associated with Parkinson's disease (PD) are key regulators of the immune system, providing direct evidence linking Parkinson's to autoimmune disease. [More]
Gamma-ray irradiation improves safety of stem cell transplantation in Parkinson’s disease patients

Gamma-ray irradiation improves safety of stem cell transplantation in Parkinson’s disease patients

Replacing dopamine-producing cells in the brain represents a promising therapeutic approach in Parkinson's disease, and a new study shows how post-transplantation gamma-ray irradiation can reduce the risk of tumor formation. [More]
Decision-making dysfunction may be key contributor to movement disorder symptoms in Parkinson’s patients

Decision-making dysfunction may be key contributor to movement disorder symptoms in Parkinson’s patients

UCLA researchers have discovered that people with Parkinson's disease have a form of impaired decision-making that may be a major contributor to the movement problems that characterize the disease. [More]
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