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.
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]
Natural molecule NAC could benefit patients with Parkinson's disease

Natural molecule NAC could benefit patients with Parkinson's disease

The natural molecule, n-acetylcysteine (NAC), with strong antioxidant effects, shows potential benefit as part of the management for patients with Parkinson's disease, according to a study published today in the journal PLOS ONE. [More]
Brain's reward system in obese people operates differently in response to food and dopamine

Brain's reward system in obese people operates differently in response to food and dopamine

As young people reach adulthood, their preferences for sweet foods typically decline. But for people with obesity, new research suggests that the drop-off may not be as steep and that the brain's reward system operates differently in obese people than in thinner people, which may play a role in this phenomenon. [More]
New UCLA study reveals strategy to fight against pesticide-associated Parkinson’s disease

New UCLA study reveals strategy to fight against pesticide-associated Parkinson’s disease

Exposure to a group of common pesticides, called dithiocarbamates, has long been associated with an increased risk of Parkinson's disease, although the mechanism by which the compounds exert their toxicity on the brain has not been completely understood. [More]
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]
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