UC San Diego researchers and their colleagues have discovered that spontaneous impulses of dopamine, the neurological messenger known as the brain’s “feel good” chemical, occur in the brain of mice. The study found that mice can willfully manipulate these random dopamine pulses for reward.
Toxicological Sciences delivers the latest toxicology research in the July 2021 issue. The issue features investigations in delivers the latest toxicology research in areas such as exposure to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, effects of ENDS vapors on amino acid metabolism, and more.
In addition to smoothing out wrinkles, researchers have found that the drug Botox can reveal the inner workings of the brain. A new study used it to show that feedback from individual nerve cells controls the release of dopamine, a chemical messenger involved in motivation, memory, and movement.
A computer game that induces mice to experience hallucination-like events could be a key to understanding the neurobiological roots of psychosis, according to a study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
This discovery from UNC School of Medicine scientists, published in the journal Neuron, could help the scientific community devise better pain management strategies, particularly for women, who are disproportionally affected by pain throughout their lifespans.
Antipsychotic drugs not only block dopamine signaling in the brain but also in the pancreas, leading to uncontrolled production of blood glucose-regulating hormones and, eventually, obesity and diabetes.
“There’s no place like home,” has its roots deep in the brain. Using fiber photometry, scientists are the first to show that home evokes a surge of dopamine in mice that mimics the response to a dose of cocaine. The study demonstrates how dopamine rises rapidly in mice moved from a simple recording chamber to their home cage, but less so when they return to a cage not quite like the one they knew.
Dopamine and serotonin are at work at sub-second speeds to shape how people perceive the world and take action based on their perception. The discovery shows researchers can simultaneously measure the activity of both dopamine and serotonin in disorders ranging from depression to Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is most commonly treated with levodopa, but the benefits wear off as the disease progresses and high doses can result in dyskinesia, which are involuntary and uncontrollable movements. To better understand the underlying reasons behind these effects, researchers created a model of the interactions between levodopa, dopamine, and the basal ganglia, an area of the brain that plays a crucial role in Parkinson’s disease. They discuss their findings in the journal Chaos.
In 2018, Tian Lab at UC Davis Health developed dLight1, a single fluorescent protein-based biosensor. This sensor allows high resolution, real-time imaging of the spatial and temporal release of dopamine in live animals. Now, the team expanded the color spectrum of dLight1 to YdLight1 and RdLight1. The increased light penetration and imaging depth of these variants provide enhanced dopamine signal quality allowing researchers to optically dissect dopamine’s release and model its effects on neural circuits.
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The brain responds to rewarding stimuli by increasing the release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. When we feel motivated, it is because our brain anticipates this dopamine reward.
The transition from early to mid-adolescence is associated with increased reward sensitivity and reward-seeking behavior, a consequence of normal brain development. This heightened sensitivity or prioritization of reward can be thought of as reflecting a greater motivation to obtain rewards. A new study, published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, has addressed whether drinking alcohol in early adolescence might impact the brain’s reward systems, by examining associations between alcohol initiation and subsequent changes in reward motivation while accounting for baseline scores. Differences between boys and girls were also evaluated.
Summary: Investigators have identified two molecules naturally produced by the body that stimulate the production of dopamine, the molecule that is in short supply in the brains of patients with Parkinson’s disease. Highlights: – The Nurr1 protein maintains thehealth of neurons…
A study from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital sheds light on the mechanisms governing feeding behavior in fruit flies and how skeletal muscle communicates energy needs to the brain.
A joint group of researchers at the George Washington University and the University of Pittsburgh have found that dopamine and the dopamine D2 receptor modulate expression via the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. This pathway is responsible for control of cell proliferation and organ identity and is implicated in cancer, thus having broad implications for health and development of new therapeutics