Dopamine News and Research

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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.
Scientists discover primary, direct target of alcohol in the brain

Scientists discover primary, direct target of alcohol in the brain

Father’s exposure to nicotine may cause cognitive deficits in descendants

Father’s exposure to nicotine may cause cognitive deficits in descendants

Study: Alterations in genes encoding proteins contribute to ADHD development

Study: Alterations in genes encoding proteins contribute to ADHD development

Scientists reprogram mature inhibitory neurons into dopaminergic cells

Scientists reprogram mature inhibitory neurons into dopaminergic cells

Study: Brain's neurons are more changeable in adulthood than previously thought

Study: Brain's neurons are more changeable in adulthood than previously thought

New transgenic mouse model sheds light on biological causes of Parkinson's disease

New transgenic mouse model sheds light on biological causes of Parkinson's disease

Change in short-term beliefs related to dopamine function, study shows

Change in short-term beliefs related to dopamine function, study shows

Poor self-esteem associated with increased risk for opioid use

Poor self-esteem associated with increased risk for opioid use

Fruit fly protein shows protective effect on dopamine-producing neurons

Fruit fly protein shows protective effect on dopamine-producing neurons

VCU researchers to study how a gene could influence cognitive decline during chemotherapy

VCU researchers to study how a gene could influence cognitive decline during chemotherapy

Cerevance starts dosing in Phase I clinical trial of CVN424 for treatment of Parkinson's disease

Cerevance starts dosing in Phase I clinical trial of CVN424 for treatment of Parkinson's disease

Researchers find molecule that halts, reverts neurodegeneration caused by Parkinson's disease

Researchers find molecule that halts, reverts neurodegeneration caused by Parkinson's disease

Environmentally-induced gene activity influences IQ test performance

Environmentally-induced gene activity influences IQ test performance

Ecstasy drug makes octopuses more social

Ecstasy drug makes octopuses more social

Study offers solid link between visceral organs and brain’s reward, motivation system

Study offers solid link between visceral organs and brain’s reward, motivation system

Dopamine neurons may involve in conditions ranging from Parkinson's disease to schizophrenia

Dopamine neurons may involve in conditions ranging from Parkinson's disease to schizophrenia

Cannabinoid drugs reduce perceived unpleasantness of painful stimuli and increase tolerance

Cannabinoid drugs reduce perceived unpleasantness of painful stimuli and increase tolerance

Cocaine-addicted rats show long-lasting increases in number of orexin neurons

Cocaine-addicted rats show long-lasting increases in number of orexin neurons

New dopamine sensors could improve our understanding of Parkinson’s Disease

New dopamine sensors could improve our understanding of Parkinson’s Disease

ADHD patients have increased risk of developing Parkinson's and other similar diseases

ADHD patients have increased risk of developing Parkinson's and other similar diseases