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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.
Finnish researchers find that obesity surgery normalizes brain's opioid neurotransmission

Finnish researchers find that obesity surgery normalizes brain's opioid neurotransmission

Researchers at Aalto University and University of Turku have revealed how obesity surgery recovers opioid neurotransmission in the brain. [More]
SynAgile announces positive results from Phase 2a trial of continuous intraoral LD/CD therapy

SynAgile announces positive results from Phase 2a trial of continuous intraoral LD/CD therapy

SynAgile Corporation, a privately held pharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes drug delivery systems using its proprietary OraFuse intraoral technology platform, today announced positive results from a proof-of-concept, Phase 2a, open-label clinical trial of continuous intraoral administration of levodopa-carbidopa (LD/CD). [More]
Neurocrine Biosciences announces positive data from NBI-98854 Phase III trial in tardive dyskinesia

Neurocrine Biosciences announces positive data from NBI-98854 Phase III trial in tardive dyskinesia

Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. announced today that NBI-98854, a highly selective small molecule VMAT2 inhibitor, showed a statistically significant reduction in tardive dyskinesia during the six weeks of placebo-controlled treatment in the Kinect 3 clinical trial. This Phase III trial included moderate to severe tardive dyskinesia patients with underlying schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar or major depressive disorder. [More]
Controlling TH-containing neurons can manipulate maternal behavior of females and aggression of males

Controlling TH-containing neurons can manipulate maternal behavior of females and aggression of males

Most female mammals give birth and care for their offspring, while the males often breed with multiple partners and play little role in parenting once the mating is over. Yet researchers have had a hard time pinpointing where, exactly, in the brain these differences between the sexes are located and how they translate into behavior. The extent of "hardwired parental behavior" is hotly disputed. [More]
Dopamine transmission mediated by D1 receptors essential for controlling movements in Parkinson's disease

Dopamine transmission mediated by D1 receptors essential for controlling movements in Parkinson's disease

Dopamine deficiency in the basal ganglia (a set of subcortical structures) causes severe motor dysfunctions, such as slowness of movements (bradykinesia), as observed in Parkinson's disease. Dopamine binds D1 and D2 receptors that are expressed in the nerve cells of the striatum (a structure of the basal ganglia), and exerts different effects on the nerve cells. However, how dopamine controls through these receptors the information flow in the basal ganglia and voluntary movements is still not clear. [More]
New flame retardant created to replace commercial additives that are often toxic

New flame retardant created to replace commercial additives that are often toxic

Inspired by a naturally occurring material found in marine mussels, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have created a new flame retardant to replace commercial additives that are often toxic and can accumulate over time in the environment and living animals, including humans. [More]
Type-2 diabetes medication can affect the brain's reward system, reduce intake of food

Type-2 diabetes medication can affect the brain's reward system, reduce intake of food

Many studies have focused on how much we eat when we are hungry, but sometimes we eat just to feel better. A new dissertation at Sahlgrenska Academy shows that medication used for type-2 diabetes wich mimics the gut-brain hormone glucagon-like peptide-1, can affect the brain's reward system and reduce the intake of food. [More]
Study: Increased acetylation of histones promotes fear extinction in mice

Study: Increased acetylation of histones promotes fear extinction in mice

The targeted modulation of gene activity and cellular signaling pathways could provide a new approach to the treatment of fear and anxiety states according to the recent findings of a project sponsored by the Austrian Science Fund FWF. [More]
Medication used for diabetes could be a valuable tool for treating alcohol dependence

Medication used for diabetes could be a valuable tool for treating alcohol dependence

A new study on mice and rats at Sahlgrenska Academy shows that a medication used for diabetes and obesity also could be a valuable tool for the treatment of alcohol dependence. [More]
Neuroscientists reveal the brain malady responsible for tinnitus, chronic pain

Neuroscientists reveal the brain malady responsible for tinnitus, chronic pain

Neuroscientists at Georgetown University Medical Center and Germany's Technische Universität München say they've uncovered the brain malady responsible for tinnitus and for chronic pain — the uncomfortable, sometimes agonizing sensations that persist long after an initial injury. [More]

Innovative detector could expand use of polarized light for drug screening, surveillance

Invention of the first integrated circularly polarized light detector on a silicon chip opens the door for development of small, portable sensors that could expand the use of polarized light for drug screening, surveillance, optical communications and quantum computing, among other potential applications. [More]
Disrupting specific signaling pathway in the brain can cause overeating of high fat foods

Disrupting specific signaling pathway in the brain can cause overeating of high fat foods

Defective signaling in the brain can cause overeating of high fat foods in mice, leading to obesity, according to one of the first research articles published in the new open access journal Heliyon. [More]
Olfactory function may inform Parkinson’s prognosis

Olfactory function may inform Parkinson’s prognosis

Olfactory function is preserved in about a quarter of patients with Parkinson’s disease, and may be predictive of disease course, say researchers. [More]
Three studies point to mGluR2 as new molecular target for addiction treatment

Three studies point to mGluR2 as new molecular target for addiction treatment

The latest issue of Biological Psychiatry presents the results of three studies implicating metabotropic glutamate receptor 2 (mGluR2) as a new molecular target for the treatment of addiction. [More]
UNC scientists create smarter immune cells to treat Parkinson's disease

UNC scientists create smarter immune cells to treat Parkinson's disease

As a potential treatment for Parkinson's disease, scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have created smarter immune cells that produce and deliver a healing protein to the brain while also teaching neurons to begin making the protein for themselves. [More]
Study reveals why long-term use of L-DOPA leads to dyskinesia

Study reveals why long-term use of L-DOPA leads to dyskinesia

Researchers have discovered why long-term use of L-DOPA (levodopa), the most effective treatment for Parkinson's disease, commonly leads to a movement problem called dyskinesia, a side effect that can be as debilitating as Parkinson's disease itself. [More]
Study shows external brain stimulation temporarily improves motor symptoms in Parkinson's patients

Study shows external brain stimulation temporarily improves motor symptoms in Parkinson's patients

People with Parkinson's disease (PD) tend to slow down and decrease the intensity of their movements even though many retain the ability to move more quickly and forcefully. [More]
Studies suggests that insular cortex may hold key to treating addiction

Studies suggests that insular cortex may hold key to treating addiction

A pair of studies suggests that a region of the brain - called the insular cortex - may hold the key to treating addiction. Scientists have come to this conclusion after finding that smokers who suffered a stroke in the insular cortex were far more likely to quit smoking and experience fewer and less severe withdrawal symptoms than those with strokes in other parts of the brain. [More]

Sadness impairs basic visual processes involved in color perception, shows study

The world might seem a little grayer than usual when we're down in the dumps and we often talk about "feeling blue" -- new research suggests that the associations we make between emotion and color go beyond mere metaphor. [More]

Cognitive impairment may be part of prodromal PD

Research shows that people with a theoretical high risk of developing Parkinson’s disease (PD) have significant cognitive deficits, particularly affecting executive function. [More]
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