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Dopamine in Biological News

Phasic firing of dopamine neurons is key to brain's prediction of rewards

San Antonio Researchers are one step closer to understanding the neurobiology that allows people to successfully learn motivated behaviors by associating environmental cues with rewarding outcomes, according to a study published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ' ...

Caltech scientists engineer supersensitive receptor, gain better understanding of dopamine system

PASADENA, Calif.--Genetically modifying a receptor found on the neurons that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine has given California Institute of Technology (Caltech) researchers a unique glimpse into the workings of the brain's dopamine system--as well as a new target for treating diseases tha...

Unlocking mystery of why dopamine freezes Parkinson's patients

CHICAGO -- Parkinson's disease and drug addiction are polar opposite diseases, but both depend upon dopamine in the brain. Parkinson's patients don't have enough of it; drug addicts get too much of it. Although the importance of dopamine in these disorders has been well known, the way it works has...

The birth and death of dopamine neurons: A new model for neurodegeneration

The gradual loss of dopamine neurons is a hallmark of many neurodegenerative diseases - Parkinsons Disease chief among them. Stem cell biology and regenerative medicine offer novel therapies for the restoration of dopamine neurons. This week in the online open-access journal PLoS Biology Dr. Raja...

Implanting dopamine generators in brain cells obtains improvement in Parkinson's in monkeys

Implanting dopamine generators (dopaminergics) in brain cells has produced improvement in the symptoms in Parkinson's, according to the results of tests carried out with monkeys by the Navarra University Hospital, led by Dr María Rosario Luquin Piudo, neurologist at the Hospital and at the other Na...

New dopamine brain target discovered

A team of Canadian researchers, lead by Dr. Susan George and Dr. Brian O'Dowd at the Centre for Addiction and Mental health (CAMH), discovered a distinct dopamine signalling complex in the brain. Composed of two different types of dopamine receptors, this novel target may have a significant role i...

High dopamine transporter levels not correlated with ADHD

Results from a brain-imaging study conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory in collaboration with Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York indicate that levels of a brain protein proposed as a diagnostic marker for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)...

Jefferson biologist coaxing human embryonic stem cells to make dopamine with simpler, faster method

For clinicians, the ability to look routinely inside the body and see -- at the level of the cell -- how it confronts disease is a distant dream. But in a series of experiments with genetically engineered mice, a team of researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) at the University ...

Flies on speed offer insight into the roles of dopamine in sleep and arousal

Methamphetamine, the drug of choice for long-distance truckers and college students pulling all-nighters, appears to do a similar trick for fruit flies, too. This finding is one of several in a new study that demonstrates a critical role for the neurotransmitter dopamine in the modulation of sleep,...

Discovery of New Dopamine Action May Yield Alternative Psychiatric Drugs

Duke University Medical Center researchers have discovered a new mechanism by which chronically high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine exert their effects on the brain. Normally associated with triggering feelings of pleasure, excess concentrations of dopamine underlie schizophrenia, attentio...

UBC researchers develop new method to study gambling addictions

...gambling decisions can be impaired or improved with drugs that affect brain dopamine and serotonin levels suggesting that these neurotransmitters may moderate g...ns dramatically reduced their ability to play the odds. A drug that reduced dopamine levels associated with pleasure in humans improved their ability to optim...

Cocaine: Perceived as a reward by the brain?

...show that sniffing cocaine triggers high levels of dopamine secretion in a central region of the brain called the striatum. dopamine is known to play a critical role in the brain's re... blood tests before and after taking the drug, and dopamine release in the brain was measured using PET scans....

Brain protein central to both Parkinson's, drug addiction identified

...y small, specialized group of brain cells known as dopamine neurons, which produce a chemical needed by anothe...ytes to a chemical called MPP+, which is deadly to dopamine neurons. More than 20 years ago, as a graduate stu...t of the astrocytes and into the space surrounding dopamine neurons. That's where another molecule known as th...

Research supports toxoplasmosis link to schizophrenia

...a role in the development of these disorders by affecting the production of dopamine - the chemical that relays messages in the brain controlling aspects of mov... in some individuals. "In addition, the ability of the parasite to make dopamine implies a potential link with other neurological conditions such as Parkins...

The genetics of fear: Study suggests specific genetic variations contribute to anxiety disorders

... brain chemical important for learning, motivation and seeking rewards. A specific polymorphism in this gene results in higher levels of extracellular dopamine in the prefrontal cortex, leading to enhanced working memory but also greater levels of anxiety. In this experiment, volunteers were shown a pictur...

Addiction: Insights from Parkinson's disease

..., illustrates that persistently elevated levels of dopamine in the brain promote the development and maintenan... about another. Although seemingly very different, dopamine plays a role in both disorders and some of the sam...ng recognized as a major source of disability. dopamine is a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger in th...

GEN reports on strategies to overcome blood-brain barrier

...gy (which was developed long before mechanisms of CMT were known) is L-DOPA, the major current drug for Parkinson's disease. L-DOPA is used to replace dopamine that is lost due to degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra of the brain. Another major system that is used in normal mammalia...

Mayo Clinic researchers suspect a novel gene is causing restless legs syndrome in a large family

...s, but genes are very likely the most important factor in affected families," he says. Medications, especially agents that increase transmission of dopamine in brain neurons, are effective in many people and worked for his new patient, says Dr. Lin. "The syndrome may appear as a nuisance for most people, h...

Researchers iron out new role for serotonin

... colleagues identified multiple trait differences affected by the SERT GK/ER variation, including traits associated with alcohol consumption and brain dopamine signaling. Additionally, they found that iron levels in the brains of mice with the GK variant were significantly higher than in the ER variant mice...

Nicotine activates more than just the brain's pleasure pathways

...y systems by several pathways, similar to the way taste is perceived. These findings complement what is known about the effects of nicotine in the dopamine pathway. This is the classic pleasure pathway in the brain, much studied by addiction experts. "Our study in no way contradicts prior findings about n...

Honey bees on cocaine dance more, changing ideas about the insect brain

...mmals, including humans. It does this by influencing the chemically related dopamine system. dopamine plays a role in the human ability to predict and respond to pleasure or rew...

Interaction between gene variants may alter brain function in schizophrenia

...hizophrenia risk, and COMT, which is involved with dopamine processing during working memory. Although the...reflect cumulative impacts of the gene variants on dopamine signaling, particularly in the prefrontal cortex. ...ikely to benefit from new treatments targeting the dopamine and folate systems," Roffman says. "We are hopefu...

Pitt research identifies new target in brain for treating schizophrenia

...fferent neurotransmitters linked to schizophrenia: dopamine and glutamate. Brain activity was then normalized ...ished antipsychotic medications that regulate only dopamine and by experimental treatments that specifically t... Houman Homayoun, Moghaddam first established that dopamine and glutamate could, separately, produce schizophr...

Parkinson's Disease Foundation announces award of $150,000

...into any other type of cell in the body, including dopamine neurons the very cells that are damaged in the br...s into iPS cells and directing the cells to become dopamine neurons. Next, Dr. Emborg and her colleagues will insert the dopamine neurons produced by Dr. Zhang's team into the brai...

Lack of vitamin D linked to Parkinson's disease

...e sclerosis and diabetes. Parkinson's disease affects nerve cells in several parts of the brain, particularly those that use the chemical messenger dopamine to control movement. The most common symptoms are tremor, stiffness and slowness of movement. These can be treated with oral replacement of dopamine....

Study reveals specific gene in adolescent men with delinquent peers

...a statistically significant association between an affinity for antisocial peer groups and a particular variation (called the 10-repeat allele) of the dopamine transporter gene (DAT1). However, the study's analysis of family, peer and DNA data from 1,816 boys in middle and high school found that the associ...

NIEHS invests $21.25 million to find environmental causes of Parkinson's disease

...veral parts of the brain, including neurons that use the chemical messenger dopamine to control muscle movement. More than one million Americans suffer from Par... how environmental and genetic factors interact to alter these functions in dopamine neurons. Identifying these mechanisms could lead to new therapeutic targets...

Early parenting plays key role in infants' physiological response to stress

... with the challenge. They also collected DNA to determine which form of a dopamine receptor gene the infants carried; specific forms of this gene are related ...ponses to stress. At 3 and 6 months old, those infants with the form of the dopamine gene associated with later risky behaviors did not display an effective car...

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- Sept. 10, 2008

...ymptoms, such as lack of motivation and impairments to decision-making. Researchers are now moving beyond traditional drugs, which generally target dopamine neurotransmission, and focusing on new targets that might tackle a wider range of symptoms. The article describes animal and human trials of several p...

Abuse of painkillers can predispose adolescents to lifelong addiction

...e first to directly compare levels of the chemical dopamine in adolescent and adult mice in response to increa... the drug as adults, also had significantly higher dopamine levels in the brain's reward center compared to ad...the brain's reward pathway increases production of dopamine receptors until mid-adolescence and then either pr...

Genes may make some people more prone to anxiety

...tion of a gene that regulates the neurotransmitter dopamine have an exaggerated "startle" reflex when viewing ...hat specific variations in the gene that regulates dopamine signaling may play a role in negative emotionality... the Met158 allele may raise levels of circulating dopamine in the brain's limbic system, a set of structures ...

Michael J. Fox Foundation PD Therapeutics Conference

...orthwestern University), on the FDA-approved diabetes drug that may protect dopamine neurons in the Parkinson's brain Anders Bjrkund, MD, PhD (Lund Unive...epression) in dyskinesias, the disruptive movements brought on by long-term dopamine replacement therapy Erwan Bezard, PhD (Universite Victor Segalen, Bor...

Brain tweak lets sleep-deprived flies stay sharp

...ived flies did not. A brain messenger known as dopamine is linked to some of the mental capabilities harme...ered a line of flies so they made more copies of a dopamine receptor in brain regions known as the mushroom bo...ng and memory. Sleep-deprived flies with extra dopamine receptors could still learn as if they had a full ...

Michael J. Fox Foundation Funds $1.1 Million for Cutting-edge Approaches to Parkinson's Disease

...s from skin cells, then using these engineered stem cells to generate human dopamine neurons with or without mutations in the respective genes. Both projects se... researchers hope to elucidate the mechanisms by which nicotine may protect dopamine neurons through development and validation of a screening test for small mo...

Obesity predisposition traced to the brain's reward system

... between a predisposition to obesity and defective dopamine signaling in the mesolimbic system in rats. Their ... and pleasure. The release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the mesolimbic system is traditionally associat...hemical signature of drug addiction. "Baseline dopamine levels were 50 percent lower and stimulated...

N.Y. research team discovers how antidepressants and cocaine interact with brain cell targets

...ving a collaboration of the Weinstein and Javitch labs with colleagues in Denmark (the labs of Ulrik Gether and Claus Loland), found that in the human dopamine transporter cocaine binds in the deep site, unlike the antidepressant binding in the bacterial transporter. Therefore, the researchers conclude that a...

Pregnant mice block out unwelcome admirers to protect their pups

...re of this ability. A surge of the chemical signal dopamine in the main olfactory bulb - one of the key brain ...coitus, a progressive surge of the chemical signal dopamine takes place in the main olfactory bulb, the most a...that is dedicated to the processing of odours. The dopamine flood is triggered by the physical stimulation dur...

Michael J. Fox Foundation awards $2.4M for validation of therapeutic targets for Parkinson's

... targets for therapies to alleviate symptoms of PD; approaches focused on dyskinesias, the excessive, uncontrollable movements brought on by long-term dopamine replacement therapy; and targets with potential to slow or stop progression of Parkinson's, something no currently approved treatment has been proven ...

Sociological research shows combined impact of genetics, social factors on delinquency

...at (VNTR) in the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene, (2) the 40-bp VNTR in the dopamine transporter 1 (DAT1) gene and (3) the Taq1 polymorphism in the dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) gene. MAOA regulates several brain neurotransmitters imp...

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience

... 1. dopamine Transporter Efflux in ADHD Michelle S. Mazei-Rob...e, Aurelio Galli, and Randy D. Blakely Elevated dopamine efflux through the dopamine transporter may underlie some forms of attention-d...
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