Dopamine is crucial for brain neurotransmitters. It is classified as a catecholamine - group of substances that act as hormones and neurotransmitters, but this appears to be in the precursors /predecessor/ noradrenaline and adrenaline.
Dopamine is responsible for a number of important functions in the body, and variations in its levels can cause severe disease states associated with motility - neurological and psychiatric.
For the first time, dopamine is synthesized in 1910 by James and George Jans Barjar. Its function as a neurotransmitter was found in 1958 by Arvid Carlson in Switzerland.
Functions of dopamine
Dopamine is a neurohormone that is released from the hypothalamus - part of the brain that controls the feeling of hunger and thirst, body temperature, fatigue, sleep and circadian rhythms. Its main function as a hormone is to inhibit the release of prolactin from the anterior pituitary share. Prolactin is responsible for the secretion of milk in the mammary gland during lactation.
Dopamine has several receptors responsible for very different processes - cognitive activity, motivation, memory, pleasure, volitional movements. The receptors and the permanent maintenance of dopamine activity in the basal ganglia help to prevent unintentional movement. The basal ganglia are in the cortex and are responsible for a variety of motor and mental processes.
Dopamine is widely associated with that part of the brain responsible for feelings of pleasure. Therefore, dopamine is released in sex, eating and even taking drugs.
It is with this mechanism that you can explain many addictions - to drugs, cigarettes, caffeine. In these cases, there is increased responsiveness.
Addiction is associated with increased sensitivity of D1-dopamine receptors. Minor and transient variations in the activity of dopamine are associated with important psychological processes such as concentration and motivation. When dopamine activity is very low, a man is prone to depression.
Dopamine has an important distinguishing capability. Dopamine in the frontal lobe of the brain controls the flow of information to other units. Dopamine disorders in this area can be a worsening of the features such as memory, attention and ability to solve problems.
Benefits of dopamine
Dopamine can be used for treatment, with an impact of sympathetic nervous system - the major part of the nervous system responsible for critical processes such as respiration, digestion and circulation. It is used in patients with Parkinson’s and vegetative vascular dystonia.
Changes in the levels of dopamine
Dopamine is essential for the body, for the role of a neurotransmitter is involved in the regulation of various processes in the central and peripheral nervous system. The low or high number of dopamine activity causes diseases - neurological and psychiatric, some of which are completely irreversible. Two of the most serious diseases that can occur are:
Parkinson's disease - a serious neurological disease that is characterized by the inability or difficulty in movements, tremors and the like.
Schizophrenia - a type of psychosis that occurs with a variety of symptoms. Caused by the very high activity of dopamine, and the treatment is performed with antipsychotic medication.
On the other hand, antipsychotic or neuroleptic drugs that inhibit dopamine activity have too many side effects with long-term use.
The most serious effects include: movement disorder, disturbance in the functions of the male and female gonads. In women, decreased levels of progesterone and estradiol levels in men and testosterone.
You may experience menstrual irregularities, loss of libido, impotence in men, weight gain, diabetes, osteoporosis in women, fatigue, heart rhythm problems and even heart attack, rheumatic disease with muscle pain /fibromyalgia/. Experts say that people with lower levels of dopamine suffer from excessive aggression.