Dopamine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is naturally produced by the body (4). It is a hormone that functions as a neurotransmitter and regulates basically all body functions from eye movement to breathing (3). It is the predominant catecholamine neurotransmitter in mammalian brains. Dopamine receptors are prominently present in the striatum, limbic system and cortex of the brain (14). There are numerous dopamine receptors such as:
D1 receptors which are commonly found in the striatum, limbic system, thalamus and hypothalamus (14) D2 receptors which are mainly found in the striatum, olfactory tubercle and the core of nucleus accumbens (14) D3 receptors which are specifically found in limbic areas, the olfactory tubercle and the islands of Calleja (14)
D1 and D2 receptors are the two main types of dopamine receptors, however D1 receptors are the most widespread. Within the category of D2 receptors there are three subtypes of receptors: D2, D3 and D4 receptors. D5 and D1b are classified as being similar to D1 receptors. D1, D2 and D3 receptors have the primary control in of forward locomotion (movement). D3 receptors appear to inhibit forward locomotion. The dopamine receptor D3 is associated with older regions of the brain indicating that it plays a key part in the intense primitive emotional states (e.g. fear and rage) (5, 14).
When a regular/normal amount of dopamine is being produced, enough is present in an individuals body to supply a sense of health and well being. However when there is an imbalance of dopamine it affects ones emotional state, perceptions, behavior and cognitive thinking abilities (3). It is what provides the feelings of enjoyment and reinforcement that in turn motivate individuals to pursue and continue activities. Dopamine is crucial for the control of an individuals basal ganglia motor loop, meaning that dopamine is necessary and crucial in order for ones brain to control their movements (4). Dopamine found in...
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