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DOPAMINE December 2011

By Josh Stegman, Jenny Wilson, Erin McLaughlin

Neurotransmitters: allow the transmition of signals from one neuron to another across a synapses. They are also found at axon endings of motor neurons where they stimulate muscle fibers.

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WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?... At the microscopic level, Dopamine is the true cause of your happiness. You can thank Dopamine for sending that signal to your brain that makes you happy for whatever it may be. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is present in regions of the brain that regulate movement, emotion, motivation, and pleasure. It stabilizes brain activity, regulates flow of information to other parts of the brain and controls movements. Consuming large amounts of dopamine can lead to addictions because dopamine is the happiness and pleasure a person feels after certain activities, such as eating food or taking drugs. There are three main functions of dopamine, which are movement, pleasure and motivations, and cognition and frontal cortex function. Movement is a crucial part of the basal ganglia motor loop. This means that it is critical to the way our brain controls movement. Pleasure and motivation is the main function. It is directly connected with the pleasure system. Dopamine provides feelings of enjoyment and reinforcement which motivates us to continue doing certain activities. Also, the neurotransmitter is released when a pleasurable activity is expected to happen. This is when we are faced with the question of does dopamine become present when we desire something, or does the pleasure come after this product

is consumed? The third function is cognition Some interesting facts: and frontal cortex function which means -Dopamine raises your libido, the more dopamine controls the flow of information to dopamine you release, the more sexually other parts of the brain, mainly the frontal aroused you are likely to be. lobes. It can cause a decline in memory, -Dopamine helps us stay awake when we problem solving, and attention. Also, feel sleepy. neurocognitive functions suffer. -Eating chocolate releases dopamine and Dopamine is an inhibitory and serotonin. excitatory neurotransmitter meaning when it finds its way to its receptor sites, it can block Medications that interact with Dopamine: the tendency of that neuron to fire or allow it -Norpramin to fire. It’s primary hormone function is to -Zelapar regulate the release of prolactin from the -Cocaine pituitary gland. -Adapin Dopamine affects the body in many -Carbex areas. Internally, it plays a role in the central nervous system. It also acts on the sympathetic nervous system where it affects blood pressure and increases heart rate. High levels of dopamine restrict blood vessels in For more information check out the kidney which will cause them to stop these websites! functioning. Reduced dopamine concentrations -http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ mouse-man/200904/what-is-dopamine in the prefrontal cortex are thought to contribute to ADD. Too much Dopamine can lead to paranoia or schizophrenia. Dopamine -http://www.news-medical.net/health/Whatis linked to medical problems like Parkinsons. is-Dopamine.aspx

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Dopamine