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Scientists may have finally solved a 70-year-old puzzle

Scientists may have finally solved a 70-year-old puzzle

Researchers have discovered physical evidence that neuronal cells cannot precisely control dopamine levels through their investigation of gene expression in the caudate nucleus, a part of the brain associated with emotional decision-making. They also discovered a genetic mechanism that regulates the flow of dopamine.

“Until now, scientists have not been able to decipher whether the dopamine connection is a causative factor or just a way of treating schizophrenia. We have the first evidence that dopamine is a causative factor in schizophrenia,” said Daniel R. Weinberger, MD, executive director and director of the Lieber Institute and co-author of the study.

Schizophrenia: Scientists may have finally solved a 70-year-old puzzle

The substantia nigra of the midbrain and its dopaminergic neurons.

The importance of dopamine

Dopamine affects many bodily functions, including memory, movement, motivation, mood, and attention span. In general, actions and activities that expect a reward increase dopamine levels in the brain. Many addictive drugs work by increasing dopamine levels.

As stated in the release, dopamine is a neurotransmitter that acts as a chemical messenger, sending signals between neurons (nerve cells in the brain) to influence their activity and behavior. Dopamine is also a reward neurotransmitter that allows us to experience pleasure.

“One of the main side effects of the drugs used to treat schizophrenia is a lack of pleasure and joy,” said Dr. Jennifer Erwin, researcher at the Institute and one of the authors of the report.



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