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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.
Methylphenidate may prevent depletion of self-control

Methylphenidate may prevent depletion of self-control

Methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin, may prevent the depletion of self-control, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. [More]

Plymouth scientists receive MRC grant to lead new and effective therapies for Parkinson's disease

A team of scientists led by researchers at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, has received a grant from the Medical Research Council (MRC) for work which could lead to new and effective therapies for those with Parkinson's Disease. [More]
Study shows mechanistic link between sleep loss in early life and adult behavior in animal model

Study shows mechanistic link between sleep loss in early life and adult behavior in animal model

Mom always said you need your sleep, and it turns out, she was right. According to a new study published in Science this week from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, lack of sleep in young fruit flies profoundly diminishes their ability to do one thing they do really, really well - make more flies. [More]
Study points to new therapeutic strategy for treating depression

Study points to new therapeutic strategy for treating depression

A new study points to a conceptually novel therapeutic strategy for treating depression. Instead of dampening neuron firing found with stress-induced depression, researchers demonstrated for the first time that further activating these neurons opens a new avenue to mimic and promote natural resilience. [More]
New hypothesis about emergence of Parkinson's disease

New hypothesis about emergence of Parkinson's disease

The cause of neuronal death in Parkinson's disease is still unknown, but a new study proposes that neurons may be mistaken for foreign invaders and killed by the person's own immune system, similar to the way autoimmune diseases like type I diabetes, celiac disease, and multiple sclerosis attack the body's cells. [More]
Scientists find new information in study on depression in Parkinson's disease

Scientists find new information in study on depression in Parkinson's disease

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's disease (PD). [More]

New insights into possible common links between neurodegenerative diseases

The pattern of brain alterations may be similar in several different neurodegenerative diseases, which opens the door to alternative therapeutic strategies to tackle these diseases [More]
Dopamine replacement therapy liked with decline in depressed Parkinson patients' cognitive function

Dopamine replacement therapy liked with decline in depressed Parkinson patients' cognitive function

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's disease (PD). [More]

Study confirms neurobiological origin of attention-deficit disorder

A study, carried out on mice, has just confirmed the neurobiological origin of attention-deficit disorder (ADD), a syndrome whose causes are poorly understood. Researchers from CNRS, the University of Strasbourg and INSERM1 have identified a cerebral structure, the superior colliculus, where hyperstimulation causes behavior modifications similar to those of some patients who suffer from ADD. [More]
Researchers identify biological process that appears to trigger Parkinson's disease

Researchers identify biological process that appears to trigger Parkinson's disease

Working with human neurons and fruit flies, researchers at Johns Hopkins have identified and then shut down a biological process that appears to trigger a particular form of Parkinson's disease present in a large number of patients. A report on the study, in the April 10 issue of the journal Cell, could lead to new treatments for this disorder. [More]

Scientists discover potential cause of Parkinson’s disease

Researchers have discovered a process that appears to explain how a well known enzyme mutation triggers the neural deterioration seen in Parkinson’s disease. [More]

New discovery opens door to development of new treatments that stop progression of Parkinson's disease

A research led by the Research Institute Vall d'Hebron (VHIR), in which the University of Valencia participated, has shown that pathological forms of the α-synuclein protein present in deceased patients with Parkinson's disease are able to initiate and spread in mice and primates the neurodegenerative process that typifies this disease. [More]
Stressful upbringings can leave imprints on genes of African American children

Stressful upbringings can leave imprints on genes of African American children

Stressful upbringings can leave imprints on the genes of children as young as age 9, according to a study led by Princeton University and Pennsylvania State University researchers. Such chronic stress during youth leads to physiological weathering similar to aging. [More]
Professor receives $1.7M NIH grant to explore novel treatments for chronic methamphetamine users

Professor receives $1.7M NIH grant to explore novel treatments for chronic methamphetamine users

A Wayne State University professor recently received a nearly $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health to explore whether proteasome and parkin — two components of the ubiquitin-proteasome system — are potential pharmaceutical drug targets that can be manipulated to promote survival and recovery of dopaminergic terminals after binge and chronic administration of toxic doses of methamphetamine. [More]

Study reveals role of dopamine in hippocampus region of brain

Bruno Giros, PhD, a researcher at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University, has demonstrated, for the first time, the role that dopamine plays in a region of the brain called the hippocampus. [More]

New evidence indicates another risk factor for young adults consuming energy drinks

Newfound evidence indicates another risk factor for young adults consuming energy drinks. A research team representing six American universities found that the frequency of energy drink use is associated with increased odds of illicit prescription stimulant medication use. [More]

New therapeutic agent reduces age-related sleep problems in fruit flies

Elderly flies do not sleep well - they frequently wake up during the night and wander around restlessly. The same is true of humans. For researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne, the sleeplessness experienced by the fruit fly Drosophila is therefore a model case for human sleeping behaviour. [More]

Study finds that baclofen drug has potential to prevent cocaine relapse

Relapse is the most painful and expensive feature of drug addiction-even after addicted individuals have been drug-free for months or years, the likelihood of sliding back into the habit remains high. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 40 to 60 percent of addicted individuals will relapse, and in some studies the rates are as high as 80 percent at six months after treatment. [More]
Northwestern University awarded NIH grant to conduct phase III Parkinson's neuroprotective study

Northwestern University awarded NIH grant to conduct phase III Parkinson's neuroprotective study

Tanya Simuni, M.D., medical director of Northwestern University's Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center, was awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct a $16 million phase III study of the safety and efficacy of the drug isradipine as a potential neuroprotective agent in Parkinson's disease. [More]
Forest Laboratories, Richter report positive results from cariprazine Phase IIb trial for bipolar depression

Forest Laboratories, Richter report positive results from cariprazine Phase IIb trial for bipolar depression

Forest Laboratories, Inc. and Gedeon Richter Plc. today announced positive topline results from a Phase IIb trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of the investigational antipsychotic cariprazine in patients with bipolar depression. [More]