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Tegeler 1 Cameron Tegeler Mrs. Rausch Chemistry Period 6 April 16, 2012 opamine!

! The "appiest Chemical Music, #ood, and social situations can gi$e a good #eeling to many people. opamine is a natural chemical in the %rain that a##ects emotions, mo$ements, and sensations o# happiness and sadness. &t is important %ecause it gi$es o## chemicals, 'hich gi$e o# #eelings o# happiness and e$en a #eeling o# re'ard. &t also is the cause o# many pro%lems such as (chi)ophrenia, Par*inson+s disease, and A " . This essay 'ill e,plain the structure o# dopamine, 'hat it does in the %ody, 'hy it+s important, and more recent research. The Chemical #ormula #or dopamine is C-"11./2 and has a molar mass o# 101.12 g3mol. There are at least #i$e receptors o# dopamine in the human %rain!
1

, and

. There
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may %e more %ut they ha$e not %een properly identi#ied. The most common receptors are the and the
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. The

receptor regulates mo$ements and controls $arious *inds o# learning.

(cientists ha$e o%ser$ed the 1 receptor and said5 6 opamine 1 receptor7mediated increase o# .M A receptors is thus 8yn *inase dependent. Targeting this signaling path'ay may %e use#ul in treating drug addiction and schi)ophrenia9 :"u, ;iu, ;i, <ao, and "uang=. The
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receptor

regulates the amount o# dopamine that is released and 'here it goes : ic*inson, (a%eti, ;arson, <iardina, Ru%instein, >elly, <randy, ;o', <erhardt, and ?ahniser=. More important then the structure is 'hat it does to the %ody.

Tegeler 2 opamine 'or*s in the %rain and 'or*s much li*e a re'ard system. @hen something good happens, good #ood, drugs, se,, dopamine is released into the %rain and gi$es a happy sensation. 6These %rain areas, collecti$ely re#erred to as the %rain+s re'ard system, are connected %y neurons that originate in a structure deep 'ithin the %rain called the $entral tegmental area9 :An*er=. The area 'here it is #ound is mainly in the central and peripheral ner$ous systems. opamine, 'hen at normal le$els, can help #ight depression, gi$e a sense o# re'ard, and help 'ith memory. An e,cess or lac* o# dopamine can cause pro%lems such as A " , Par*inson+s disease, and (chi)ophrenia. 6More creati$e people had a lo'er 2 receptor density in their thalamus, li*e patients 'ith schi)ophrenia9 :(tannard=. 6Characteri)ed %y tremors, muscle rigidity, and lac* o# #ine motor s*ills, Par*inson+s is caused %y a degeneration o# dopamine proAection #i%ers originating in a %rain region called the su%stantia nigra9 :.ation=. opamine is also a 'ay o# moti$ation. @hen someone is doing something #un, interesting, or entertaining dopamine is released and it ma*es that person 'ant to *eep doing 'hat they are doing. &# they 'ere to %ecome %ored their dopamine le$els 'ould drop and they 'ould start to #ind something to do to entertain them. At normal le$els dopamine can gi$e a good sense o# pleasure %ut to little can cause pro%lems. People ta*e drugs to gi$e them a #eeling o# 6high9 %ut they do not reali)e they can %e destroying their le$els o# dopamine. (cientists ha$e %een doing research and ha$e reali)ed that methamphetamine addicts are slo'ly *illing the dopamine 'ithin their %ody. Molecularly, dopamine and meth are almost e,actly identical. @hen the %rain releases dopamine it also releases meth into the %rain. B$entually the meth molecules 6e,plode9 destroying the dopamine

Tegeler 3 around it. (ince the %rain recycles dopamine it is hard #or it to rema*e 'hat has %een lost. This lea$es meth addicts le#t 'ith al'ays #eeling sad and depressed since they cannot %e happy. 6The to' truc*s get con#used, and pic* up meth thin*ing that it is dopamine. (o the to' truc*s are %usy dri$ing around hiAac*ed %y meth molecules lea$ing the e,tra opamine molecules #loating around in the street :synapse=. @ell... that means the to,ic 'aste cre' comes in and destroys that dopamine that did not get recycled. (o #or the 12 hours or so it ta*es #or the %ody to %rea* do'n the meth, it is also spending that time destroying dopamine9 :Pate=. >no'ing the dangers o# a lac* or e,cess o# dopamine is important, %ut also understanding 'hy it is interesting is important. &t is important to understand 'hy dopamine is interesting and important. &t is important %ecause 'ithout dopamine no one 'ould ha$e any moti$ation to get anything done %ecause, as pre$iously mentioned, it is a huge source o# moti$ation. Too much o# this chemical can cause A " and (chi)ophrenia %ecause the %rain is releasing too much dopamine and cannot handle such irregular le$els. Another pro%lem is Par*inson+s disease, 6C&tD is caused %y insu##icient A in the %asal ganglia, the %rain region that controls #ine muscle mo$ement9 :Cooper=. &t is important to *no' this %ecause 'hen people try to a%use drugs or alcohol they don+t reali)e that in the long run they 'ill only ma*e themsel$es more misera%le. This is due to a lac* o# dopamine and could put them into deep depression. opamine is an important chemical in the %rain. &t is important to understand the structure o# dopamine, 'hat it does in the %ody, 'hy it is important, and recent research on it. &t is a 'onder#ul chemical that %rings Aoy to people and

Tegeler 4 helps moti$ate them to get things done. Too much or too little can cause pro%lems li*e (chi)ophrenia, Par*inson+s disease, and A " . Ey understanding the importance o# it, people may %e less li*ely to a%use drugs and other su%stances.

Tegeler 5 1. An*er, Fustin. G rug A%use, opamine, and the Erain+s Re'ard (ystem.G Hazelden :2012=! n.pag. @e%. 11 Apr 2011. 2. Cooper, Fames. GAll A%out opamine.G Suite101. ..p., n.d. @e%. 11 Apr. 2011. 1. ic*inson, (. ., (a%eti, F., ;arson, <. A., <iardina, >., Ru%instein, M., >elly, M. A., <randy, . >., ;o', M. F., <erhardt, <. A. and ?ahniser, .. R. :1HHH=, opamine 2 Receptor7 e#icient Mice B,hi%it ecreased opamine Transporter 8unction %ut .o Changes in opamine Release in orsal (triatum. Fournal o# .eurochemistry, 22! 14-106. 4. "u, Fian7;i, <ang ;iu, Ian7Chun ;i, @en7Fun <ao, and Iue7Jiao "uang. G opamine 1 receptor7mediated .M A receptor insertion depends on 8yn %ut not (rc *inase path'ay in pre#rontal cortical neurons.G BioMed Central Ltd. :2010=! n.pag. Molecular Brain. @e%. 12 Apr 2011. 0. .ation, Fac*. G opamine.G &nternational Bncyclopedia o# the (ocial (ciences. 200-. Encyclopedia.com. 11 Apr. 2011 6. Pate, ;ori. G opamine, Methamphetamines, and Iou.G KCI The Anti Meth Site. ..p., n.d. @e%. 11 Apr. 2011. 2. (tannard, <romisch, B. :2010=. The opamine Connection Eet'een (chi)ophrenia and Creati$ity. !"ych Central. Retrie$ed on April 11, 2011.