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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1959, from DOPA, the amino acid (from first letter of elements of dioxyphenylalanine), + -amine.


n. (label en neurotransmitter) A neurotransmitter associated with movement, attention, learning, and the brain’s pleasure and reward system.


n. a monoamine neurotransmitter found in the brain and essential for the normal functioning of the central nervous system; as a drug (trade names Dopastat and Intropin) it is used to treat shock and hypotension [syn: Dopastat, Intropin]


Dopamine (contracted from 3,4-dihydroxyphenethylamine) is an organic chemical of the catecholamine and phenethylamine families that plays several important roles in the brain and body. It is an amine synthesized by removing a carboxyl group from a molecule of its precursor chemical L-DOPA, which is synthesized in the brain and kidneys. Dopamine is also synthesized in plants and most multicellular animals.

In the brain, dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter—a chemical released by neurons (nerve cells) to send signals to other nerve cells. The brain includes several distinct dopamine pathways, one of which plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior. Most types of reward increase the level of dopamine in the brain, and most addictive drugs increase dopamine neuronal activity. Other brain dopamine pathways are involved in motor control and in controlling the release of various hormones. These pathways and cell groups form a dopamine system which is neuromodulatory.

Outside the central nervous system, dopamine functions in several parts of the peripheral nervous system as a local chemical messenger. In blood vessels, it inhibits norepinephrine release and acts as a vasodilator (at normal concentrations); in the kidneys, it increases sodium excretion and urine output; in the pancreas, it reduces insulin production; in the digestive system, it reduces gastrointestinal motility and protects intestinal mucosa; and in the immune system, it reduces the activity of lymphocytes. With the exception of the blood vessels, dopamine in each of these peripheral systems is synthesized locally and exerts its effects near the cells that release it.

Several important diseases of the nervous system are associated with dysfunctions of the dopamine system, and some of the key medications used to treat them work by altering the effects of dopamine. Parkinson's disease, a degenerative condition causing tremor and motor impairment, is caused by a loss of dopamine-secreting neurons in an area of the midbrain called the substantia nigra. Its metabolic precursor L-DOPA can be manufactured, and in its pure form marketed as Levodopa is the most widely used treatment for the condition. There is evidence that schizophrenia involves altered levels of dopamine activity, and most antipsychotic drugs used to treat this are dopamine antagonists which reduce dopamine activity. Similar dopamine antagonist drugs are also some of the most effective anti-nausea agents. Restless legs syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are associated with decreased dopamine activity. Dopaminergic stimulants can be addictive in high doses, but some are used at lower doses to treat ADHD. Dopamine itself is available as a manufactured medication for intravenous injection: although it cannot reach the brain from the bloodstream, its peripheral effects make it useful in the treatment of heart failure or shock, especially in newborn babies.

Dopamine (disambiguation)

Dopamine is a chemical naturally produced in the body.

Dopamine may also refer to:

  • Dopamine (medication) a medication used to treat a number of health problems
  • Dopamine receptor
  • Dopamine transporter
  • Dopamine (film), a 2003 film written and directed by Mark Decena
  • Dopamine Records, a record label
  • Dopamine (Third Eye Blind album), an album by Third Eye Blind
  • Dopamine (BØRNS album), an album by BØRNS
  • "Dopamine", a song from the album Fused by Tony Iommi and Glenn Hughes
Dopamine (film)

Dopamine is a 2003 romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Mark Decena.

Dopamine (Third Eye Blind album)

Dopamine is the fifth studio album by American rock band Third Eye Blind, released on June 16, 2015. It is the band's first studio album since 2009's Ursa Major. The album's first single, "Everything Is Easy," was released on May 8, 2015, along with a cover version of the Beyoncé song " Mine." The album debuted at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, selling over 21,000 copies in its first week.

Dopamine (Børns album)

Dopamine is the debut studio album by American musician and singer BØRNS, released on October 16, 2015 by Interscope Records.

Dopamine (medication)

Dopamine, sold under the brandname Intropin among others, is a medication most commonly used in the treatment of very low blood pressure, a slow heart rate that is causing symptoms, and, if epinephrine is not available, cardiac arrest. In newborn babies it continues to be the preferred treatment for very low blood pressure. In children epinephrine or norepinephrine is generally preferred while in adults norepinephrine is generally preferred for very low blood pressure. It is given intravenously or intraosseously as a continuous infusion. Effects typically begin within five minutes. Doses are then increased to effect.

Common side effects include worsening kidney function, an irregular heartbeat, chest pain, vomiting, headache, or anxiety. If it enters into the soft tissue around the vein local tissue death may occur. The medication phentolamine can be given to try to decrease this risk. It is unclear if dopamine is safe to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. At low doses dopamine mainly triggers dopamine receptors and β1-adrenergic receptors while at high doses it works via α-adrenergic receptors.

Dopamine was first synthesized in a laboratory in 1910 by George Barger and James Ewens in England. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most important medicines needed in a basic health care system. The wholesale cost in the developing world of a container of 400 mg is between $0.28 and $0.60 (USD) as of 2014. In human physiology dopamine is a neurotransmitter as well as a hormone.

Usage examples of "dopamine".

Cocaine has a high addictive potential because of the speed with which it blocks the dopamine transporters.

Raging through his brain cells was a storm of neurotransmitters, dopamine and taurine and norepinephrine, this time of a slightly different concentration and mixture than before.

Motilin, dopamine, taurine and many other neurotransmitters cascaded in a never-ending flood.

It is the substantia nigra that supplies the neurotransmitter dopamine to a larger area in the center of the brain, called the striatum, which controls movement and motor skills of the human body.

Stronger drugs, such as the opiates, force the release of vast amounts of dopamine, flooding the pleasure centres in the brain - leading to intense euphoria.

I was last in line the synthetic dopamine would reach my brain before I reached the doc.

By tagging a chemical, methylphenidate, that binds to the dopamine transporter - just like cocaine - and imaging it in her scanner, she has managed to measure the dopamine potential of cocaine users versus non-cocaine users.

The three brains are said to be distinguished neuroanatomically and functionally, and contain strikingly different distributions of the neurochemicals dopamine and cholinesterase.

Those drinks were chock full of oxytocin, dopamine, norepinephrine, phenylethylamine and God knows what else.

The intense anger and schizophrenic behavior of people who have 'freaked out' on amphetamines are the result of the amphetamines causing the brain to produce way more than the normal amount of dopamine, a chemical that the emotional brain normally produces only in very small amounts.

They’ve been treating it as they would catatonia, or schizophrenia—giving them a serotonin dopamine complex, limbic stimulants .

And what were the minds of the Presences after all but vast arrays of dislocations, molecular vacancies, self-reproducing line, and planar defects generating energy along infinitesimal fault lines, molecular neurons rather than biological ones, atoms of chromium instead of dopamine, with vacancies in the infinite grid serving as receptor cells.

Lucy can’t spend the rest of her life paranoid that people are going to find out she has a brain tumor and is on some type of dopamine agonist to keep it under control.

What Grains does is to stimulate the production of dopamine, the brain's main chemical messenger.

Persuading E. coli to churn out hormones like insulin or dopamine is simple enough.