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.
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.
#Scientists #finally #solved #70yearold #puzzle