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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.
Transplantation of hpNSCs into non-human primates modeled with PD promotes behavioral recovery

Transplantation of hpNSCs into non-human primates modeled with PD promotes behavioral recovery

A multi-center team of researchers in the U.S. testing the potential of cell therapy for treating Parkinson's disease (PD) has found that grafting human parthenogenetic stem cell-derived neural stem cells (hpNSCs) into non-human primates modeled with PD promoted behavioral recovery, increased dopamine concentrations in the brain, and induced the expression of beneficial genes and pathways when compared to control animals not transplanted with stem cells. [More]
Metabolite of oral DMF drug for multiple sclerosis appears to slow onset of Parkinson's disease

Metabolite of oral DMF drug for multiple sclerosis appears to slow onset of Parkinson's disease

The metabolite of a drug that is helping patients battle multiple sclerosis appears to significantly slow the onset of Parkinson's disease, researchers say. [More]
Genetic variation may predispose certain Asian-Americans to food addiction

Genetic variation may predispose certain Asian-Americans to food addiction

Rice anyone? How about a bowl of ramen noodles? Researchers have found that some Asian-Americans are more likely to hunger for carbohydrates and unhealthy foods than other Asian-Americans -- and the reason appears to be genetic. [More]
Myricitrin may play role in preventing neuronal degeneration in Parkinson's disease

Myricitrin may play role in preventing neuronal degeneration in Parkinson's disease

A new study has shown that myricitrin, a flavinoid with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity that is present inedible plants and fruit, can protect mouse brains from the loss of dopamine-producing neurons caused by neurotoxicity. [More]
Northwestern Medicine scientists link TMEM230 gene mutations to Parkinson's disease development

Northwestern Medicine scientists link TMEM230 gene mutations to Parkinson's disease development

Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered a new cause of Parkinson's disease -- mutations in a gene called TMEM230. This appears to be the third gene definitively linked to confirmed cases of the common movement disorder. [More]
DRD2 expression plays crucial role in protecting mice against kidney injury, hypertension

DRD2 expression plays crucial role in protecting mice against kidney injury, hypertension

Dopamine signaling in the kidneys plays a critical role in blood pressure regulation and is responsible for nearly half of the salt and water excretion that occurs in response to increased dietary salt intake. Notably, genetic deletion of any of the 5 dopamine receptors expressed in the kidney causes hypertension in mice. [More]
Forgetting is key to good memory

Forgetting is key to good memory

Scientists in Florida have discovered a new protein that is needed for normal forgetting by the human brain. It appears that forgetting is a critical part of the normal management of memories. Identifying the protein essential to this normal forgetting may help researchers to gain further insight into how the human memory works. [More]
Buck researchers identify new, potential drug targets for sporadic PD

Buck researchers identify new, potential drug targets for sporadic PD

Research at the Buck Institute shows the same mechanisms that lead to neuronal cell death in mice genetically fated to develop Parkinson's disease (PD) are involved in the much more common sporadic form of the age-related, neurodegenerative disorder that robs people of the ability to move normally. [More]
Vocal learning in songbirds sheds more light on developmental disorders in humans

Vocal learning in songbirds sheds more light on developmental disorders in humans

Adult songbirds modify their vocalizations when singing to juveniles in the same way that humans alter their speech when talking to babies. The resulting brain activity in young birds could shed light on speech learning and certain developmental disorders in humans, according to a study by McGill University researchers. [More]
Understanding how opiates affect brain pathways to drive addiction cycle

Understanding how opiates affect brain pathways to drive addiction cycle

New research by Steven Laviolette's research team at Western University is contributing to a better understanding of the ways opiate-class drugs modify brain circuits to drive the addiction cycle. [More]
Neurological problems can impair sexuality

Neurological problems can impair sexuality

Neurological disorders can impair sexuality on a much more massive scale than frequently assumed, leaving loss of desire, erection problems and infertility in their wake. [More]
New player in calcium signalling pathways acts as molecular brake to Orai activation

New player in calcium signalling pathways acts as molecular brake to Orai activation

Information flow in cells relies on calcium as a key agent in several signalling pathways. Calcium dependent signalling is crucial in nearly every aspect of life - muscle movement, immune reactions, nerve function, light sensing and many such processes. [More]
New understanding of neurotransmitter transporter mechanism gives hope for treating depression, addicition

New understanding of neurotransmitter transporter mechanism gives hope for treating depression, addicition

When nerve cells have to communicate with each other in our brains, it involves release of small signal molecules, the so-called neurotransmitters, which act as chemical messengers in specific points of contact between nerve cells, called synapses. [More]
Researchers find new clue to understanding 'chemo brain' in cancer patients

Researchers find new clue to understanding 'chemo brain' in cancer patients

During and after chemotherapy, many cancer patients describe feeling a mental fog, a condition that has been dubbed "chemo brain." Why this happens is unclear, but researchers have found a new clue to understanding this syndrome. [More]
Increasing ghrelin levels during hunger can negatively affect decision making capabilities

Increasing ghrelin levels during hunger can negatively affect decision making capabilities

Never make a decision when you are hungry. The hormone ghrelin - that is released before meals and known to increase appetite - has a negative effect on both decision making and impulse control. Such were the results of a recently conducted study at Sahlgrenska University. [More]
Oral administration of Jakinibs reduces Parkinson's disease pathogenesis in rat model

Oral administration of Jakinibs reduces Parkinson's disease pathogenesis in rat model

University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers report the first documentation that suppressing a key cell-signaling pathway in a rat model of Parkinson's disease reduces pathogenesis. Oral administration of AZD1480 — one of the JAK/STAT pathway inhibitors generally known as Jakinibs — lessened the destructive inflammation and nerve cell degradation in the area of the brain affected by Parkinson's. [More]
Lund study shows transplanted nerve cells can survive for many years in diseased human brain

Lund study shows transplanted nerve cells can survive for many years in diseased human brain

In the late 1980s and over the 1990s, researchers at Lund University in Sweden pioneered the transplantation of new nerve cells into the brains of patients with Parkinson's disease. The outcomes proved for the first time that transplanted nerve cells can survive and function in the diseased human brain. Some patients showed marked improvement after the transplantation while others showed moderate or no relief of symptoms. [More]
Nuplazid (pimavanserin) tablets approved to treat hallucinations and delusions

Nuplazid (pimavanserin) tablets approved to treat hallucinations and delusions

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Nuplazid (pimavanserin) tablets, the first drug approved to treat hallucinations and delusions associated with psychosis experienced by some people with Parkinson's disease. [More]
Researchers explore changes in Parkinson's-affected cells at different stages of the disease

Researchers explore changes in Parkinson's-affected cells at different stages of the disease

It's an unsettling thought: You could be walking around for 20 years developing Parkinson's disease and not even know it. [More]
Dopamine neuron transplants controlled by designer drug may fight Parkinson's disease in mice

Dopamine neuron transplants controlled by designer drug may fight Parkinson's disease in mice

A University of Wisconsin-Madison neuroscientist has inserted a genetic switch into nerve cells so a patient can alter their activity by taking designer drugs that would not affect any other cell. The cells in question are neurons and make the neurotransmitter dopamine, whose deficiency is the culprit in the widespread movement disorder Parkinson's disease. [More]
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