When I first started into my research, it seemed that every online RLS community, or article I read online, talked about the approach that scientists were taking due to the connection they've drawn between dopamine levels and RLS.
Personally, I think they're looking in the wrong direction. The direction they should be looking at is the relationship between inflammation and RLS.
Dopamine may play a part in the long run, but it is a secondary concern. If you deal with the inflammation, you will be dealing directly with the primary cause. Take care of the inflammation issue and eventually everything else will fall back into place.
It's not unlike a person that gets into a fight and gets their lights punched out every time they get drunk. The primary issue is not their inability to fight - the primary issue is their drinking. If you can get them to give up drinking for good, there is a decent chance that the fighting will end as well.
With RLS and inflammation there is a direct connection. Dopamine may be involved, but I don't believe it's something that should be pursued as a primary issue.
Having said that, I'm still presenting this informational page for those of you that are interested in the relationship between dopamine and restless legs.
For more information about the relationship between dopamine and RLS visit the web page Scientific Studies Illustrating the Relationship Between Dopamine and Inflammation header of recap of dopamine and restless legs syndrome
For those of you that haven't visited the other pages on this site that have information about dopamine agonists, I'll first introduce some basic information about dopamine and dopamine agonists before I go into the various natural agonists that you can try.
header of recap of dopamine and restless legs syndrome
This is a picture of dopamine and the brain.
Dopamine is a catecholamine neurotransmitter that occurs in a wide variety of animals, including both vertebrates and invertebrates. In the brain, this phenethylamine functions as a neurotransmitter, activating the five types of dopamine receptors - D1, D2, D3, D4, and D5 - and their variants. Dopamine is produced in several areas of the brain, including the substantia nigra and the ventral tegmental area. Dopamine is also a neurohormone released by the hypothalamus. Its main function as a hormone is to inhibit the release of prolactin from the anterior lobe of the pituitary.
Dopamine has many functions in the brain, including important roles in behavior and cognition, voluntary movement, motivation, punishment and reward, inhibition of prolactin production (involved in lactation and sexual gratification), sleep, mood, attention, working memory, and learning. Dopaminergic neurons (i.e., neurons whose primary neurotransmitter is dopamine) are present chiefly in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the midbrain, the substantia nigra pars compacta, and the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus.
"Dopamine" WikiPedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dopamine
Mild elevations in Dopamine are associated with addictions. Nicotine, cocaine, and other substances produce a feeling of excited euphoria by increasing Dopamine levels in the brain. Too much of these chemicals/substances and we feel "wired" as moderate levels of Dopamine make us hyperstimulated - paying too much attention to our environment due to being overstimulated and unable to separate what's important and what is not.
In an ADHD child, low levels of Dopamine don't allow the child to focus or attend to anything in the environment, looking very physically hyperactive when running about the room or switching from activity-to-activity due to their lack of focus. As Dopamine levels increase above the normal range, our ability to focus increases to the point of being paranoid. Mild elevations make the environment overly stimulating and excited.
Joseph M. Carver, Ph.D. "Dopamine: Parkinson's Disease and ADHD to Smoking and Paranoia"...
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