Exploring the chemistry behind love this Valentine's Day

Chemistry in a relationship refers to the intense feelings of connection, passion, and romance that people share. This Valentine's Day, Dr. Alex Baker, a chemistry professor at the University of Warwick, explores the real ...

Study shows promise of gene therapy for alcohol use disorder

A form of gene therapy currently used to treat Parkinson's disease may dramatically reduce alcohol use among chronic heavy drinkers, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University and institutions across the country have ...

Stop signals reduce dopamine levels and dancing in honeybees

Researchers from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of California San Diego have revealed that receiving an inhibitory signal (stop signal) associated ...

The secrets of polydopamine coatings revealed

Dopamine is best known as a neurotransmitter. What is rather unknown, however, is that the underwater glue used by mussels contains large amounts of L-Dopa molecules, an analog of dopamine.

New nanosensor gives unprecedented look at dopamine release

Astronomers build new telescopes and peer at the night sky to see what they might find. Janelia Group Leader Abraham Beyene takes a similar approach when looking at the cells that make up the human brain.

Study finds links between circadian rhythms, metabolism and addiction

A new University of California, Irvine-led study establishes important conceptual connections between the fields of circadian rhythms, metabolism, and addiction. Going beyond current studies on substance use disorders, which ...

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Dopamine

Dopamine is a 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 can be supplied as a medication that acts on the sympathetic nervous system, producing effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure. However, because dopamine cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, dopamine given as a drug does not directly affect the central nervous system. To increase the amount of dopamine in the brains of patients with diseases such as Parkinson's disease and dopa-responsive dystonia, L-DOPA (levodopa), which is the precursor of dopamine, can be given because it can cross the blood-brain barrier.

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