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.
Researchers from McGill University, led by Professor Alanna Watt of the Department of Biology, have identified previously unknown changes in brain cells affected by a neurological disease.
A new study provides deeper insights into how the brain learns and adapts through trial and error, whether a scientist or a pup.
The future treatment of Parkinson’s Disease has undergone tremendous development in recent years. Now, a breakthrough in research has emerged, delivering the strongest results for both side-effect-free and long-lasting treatment effects.
A team of researchers from the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology (SIAT) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and their collaborators have devised a gene therapy approach aimed at selectively manipulating the affected circuitry in Parkinson’s disease.
Neurons talk to each other using chemical signals called neurotransmitters. Scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have drawn on structural biology expertise to determine structures of vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2), a key component of neuronal communication.
The brain and the digestive tract are in constant communication, relaying signals that help to control feeding and other behaviors.
When the first symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are experienced by a patient, the disease has been evolving for a long period, and the patient might already have lost half of a certain kind of nerve cells in the brain.
A new study has revealed a common genetic signature that seems to underlie multiple substance use disorders.
A tiny worm called the C. elegans is enabling scientists to explore the emerging theory that Parkinson's disease starts in the gut.
Dopamine is best known as a neurotransmitter. What is rather unknown, however, the underwater glue used by mussels contains large amounts of L-Dopa molecules, an analog of dopamine.
Individuals with cocaine use disorder exhibit gene expression changes in two brain regions: the nucleus accumbens, a region associated with reward, and the caudate nucleus, a region mediating habit formation, according to research conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published February 10 in Science Advances.
Why are some people diagnosed with ADHD while others are not? And when is the seed of ADHD sown, in life or the womb?
Using a specialized MRI sensor, MIT researchers have shown that they can detect light deep within tissues such as the brain.
North Carolina State University researchers have shown that neuron-like cells produced from human stem cells may be used to examine alterations in the neurological system linked to addiction.
In a work of systematic biology that advances the field, University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have identified 16 distinct cell populations in a complex area of the midbrain called the ventral tegmental area, or VTA.
Many people have experienced the sudden and unmanageable desire to eat a particular food. These desires, known as cravings, are very usual, especially during pregnancy.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease in which a specific type of neuron, the dopaminergic neuron, is destroyed.
There's nothing like a steaming cup of joe to give your morning a quick boost. Now, there's yet another reason to love the beverage.
Biological functions rely on accurate cellular communication involving different molecules. Most major signaling pathways involved in such communication, called signal transduction, often involve a family of kinases—enzymes catalyzing the transfer of phosphates between specific substrate molecules.
In a study led by Cedars-Sinai, researchers have discovered two types of brain cells that play a key role in dividing continuous human experience into distinct segments that can be recalled later.