A genetic change in the dopamine transporter - one of the brain's dopamine-handling proteins - makes it behave as if amphetamine is present and "run backward," Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigators report this week in The Journal of Neuroscience.
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 been a mystery.
Science has found one likely contributor to the way that some folks eat to live and others live to eat.
The chemical dopamine induces both desire and dread, according to new animal research in the July 9 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. Although dopamine is well known to motivate animals and people to seek positive rewards, the study indicates that it also can promote negative feelings like fear.
Among the many genes that may contribute to an individual's susceptibility to alcoholism, those in the dopamine system are of special interest because addictive substances can activate this system.
Science has found one likely contributor to the way that some folks eat to live and others live to eat.
Physicians treating patients with shock should consider norepinephrine instead of dopamine as a tool for stabilizing blood pressure, according to an editorial in the March 4, 2010, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances, and men are up to twice as likely to develop alcoholism as women. Until now, the underlying biology contributing to this difference in vulnerability has remained unclear.