AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 4, 2017


Zeroing in on Dopamine

Study in mice identifies the molecular machinery responsible for dopamine release in the brain


Studied for decades for its critical role in movement control and reward-seeking behaviors, the neurotransmitter dopamine has been the focus of numerous efforts to understand its activity, particularly when it goes awry in disorders such as Parkinson’s and addiction.

While researchers have made great strides, less is known about the mechanisms that healthy dopamine cells use to release the neurotransmitter, a gap that has limited scientists’ ability to develop treatments for a range of dopamine-related conditions.  

Now, researchers from Harvard Medical School have for the first time identified the molecular machinery responsible for the precise secretion of dopamine in the brain.

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