Dopamine


Dopamine is an organic chemical of the catecholamine and phenethylamine families that plays several important roles in the brain and body. In the brain, dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter where it plays a role in reward-motivated behavior. Most types of reward increase the level of dopamine in the brain, and many addictive drugs increase dopamine neuronal activity. Outside of the central nervous system, dopamine functions include dilation of blood vessels, increased sodium excretion and urine output, reduced insulin production, and reduced gastrointestinal motility among others. Loss of dopamine-secreting neurons in the midbrain is involved in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease.



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