Human Behaviour, Dopamine, and DNA

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  • Human Behaviour, Dopamine, and DNA
    • Dopamine
      • Low levels
        • associated with Parkinsons Disease
          • Parkinsons patients treated with L-dopa prone to behavioural changes (e.g compulsive gambling)
            • Treatment involves clinical administration of dopamine precursor L-dopa
        • Treatment involves clinical administration of dopamine precursor L-dopa
      • High levels
        • associated with the development of mental health conditions e.g Schizophrenia
      • increases general arousal
      • decreases inhibition
        • increase in creativity in conjunction with cerebral activity
          • increases general arousal
      • 5 different dopamine receptors
        • named DRD1 through DRD5
          • each coded for by a different gene
            • 5 different dopamine receptors
              • named DRD1 through DRD5
                • each coded for by a different gene
        • Binding of dopamine to its receptor is involved in:
          • control of motivation
          • control of learning
          • linked to regulatory effects on other neuro transmitter release
            • number of antipsychotic drugs work by blocking dopamine receptors
      • DRD4 Receptor Gene
        • 50 known variants of DRD4 gene
          • differ in specific sequence
            • known as a variable number tandem repeat
            • short section of nucleotides shows different no. of repeats in the variants
              • variants are implicated in certain human behavioural conditions
        • Inheritance of particular variants of the DRD4 gene affects the levels and action of dopamine in the braim
        • ADHD
          • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
          • drugs used to treat this (e.g Ritalin) effect dopamine levels in the brain
          • a particular dopamine receptor variant of DRD4 is more frequent in those suffering from ADHD
        • Particular variants of DRD4 receptor gene are implicated in increased likelihood of addictive behaviours
          • including smoking and gambling
          • L-dopa administered to one group, haloperiodal given to others
            • haloperidol blocks dopamine receptors
            • difference in general arousal
            • significant difference in risk taking levels
      • Other neuro transmitter influenced conditions
        • OCD thought to be result of deficiency in serotonin
          • OCD = obsessive compulsive disorder
          • genetic wide scan for DNA sequences linked to OCD carried out
            • 8 genetic markers found
    • Dopamine is a neuro-transmitter and hormone
      • precursor molecule in the production of adrenaline and noradrenaline
      • Dopamine
        • Low levels
          • associated with Parkinsons Disease
            • Parkinsons patients treated with L-dopa prone to behavioural changes (e.g compulsive gambling)
          • High levels
            • associated with the development of mental health conditions e.g Schizophrenia
          • decreases inhibition
            • increase in creativity in conjunction with cerebral activity
            • Binding of dopamine to its receptor is involved in:
              • control of motivation
              • control of learning
              • linked to regulatory effects on other neuro transmitter release
                • number of antipsychotic drugs work by blocking dopamine receptors

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