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Dopamine

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Updated April 29, 2008

Definition:

Dopamine is a body chemical that plays important roles at several locations in the body.

Dopamine levels are high in the brain, where it is necessary for:

  • Learning
  • Mood regulation
  • Information processing/integration
Dopamine can also be given intravenously as a medication. In this capacity, it acts as a stimulant on the cardiovascular system and results in increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and increased blood flow. Dopamine given this way does not affect the brain.

Dopamine is the root chemical the body uses to synthesize catecholamines.

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