Dopamine by Leila Burridge and Emily Little
Dopamine and It’s Uses • Neurotransmitter • Helps transmit signals in brain and other vital areas • Found in humans and animals, including vertebrates and invertebrates • Mainly inhibitory • Involved in voluntary movement, learning, arousal, and feelings of pleasure • Strongly determines motivation
Dopamine Production in the Brain • Produced naturally in the body • Found in the regions of the brain that regulate movement, emotion, motivation and the feeling of pleasure • Produced in the dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) • Produced in the substantia nigra pars compacta • Produced in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus
What causes an Excess of Dopamine? Internal Causes: • High levels of stress • Sleep quantity and quality • Food External Causes: • Medications • Drug abuse of drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines can lead to drug-induced psychosis and schizophrenia • Nicotine
Effects of Excess Dopamine in Brain • Weak-willed, impulsive behaviour • Need for instant gratification • Lack of motivation • High levels of dopamine are found in patients with AD/HD • Suspicious personality, paranoia, withdrawal from social situations
What causes a Dopamine Deficiency? Dopamine levels drop due to • Stress • Certain Antidepressants • Drug and Alcohol use • Poor nutrition • Lack of Sleep • Excessive Caffeine intake • Excessive Sugar intake
Effects of Dopamine Deficiency Lack of Dopamine in the brain can cause • Onset of Parkinson's Disease • Restless Leg Syndrome • Creativity • Sleep Problems • Depression • Trouble Focusing
Arvid Carlsson • Researched dopamine extensively in the late 1950’s. • Showed that dopamine was a neurotransmitter in the brain and not just a precursor of norepinephrine. • Discovered that a lack of dopamine in some areas of the brain could disrupt pathways among nerves that control movement and motor functions. • This causes Parkinson’s disease. • Parkinson’s disease symptoms: tremors, rigid muscles, speech changes, etc. • Carlsson developed a drug called levadopa (L-dopa) to treat Parkinson’s disease. • L-dopa transforms into dopamine in the brain and helps to relieve Parkinson’s symptoms.
Bibliography • http://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Dopamine.aspx • http://www.news-medical.net/health/Dopamine-Functions.aspx • http://www.livestrong.com/article/195851-what-are-the-causes-of-low-dopamine-levels/ • http://www.livestrong.com/article/73358-side-effects-lack-dopamine/ • http://www.livestrong.com/article/50422-effects-low-dopamine-levels/ • http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5206277_causes-high-levels-dopamine_.html?ref=Track2&utm_source=ask#page=5 • Haralambos, Michael, and David Rice. Psychology in Focus. Ormskirk: Causeway, 2000. Print.