Dopamine Vs. Serotonin

Save

Dopamine and serotonin are two neurotransmitters that are necessary for many aspects of human behavior. Inadequate production and regulation of either neurotransmitter is a cause of many medical conditions.

Location

  • Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is primarily found in the brain. Serotonin is also a neurotransmitter, but 80 to 90 percent of serotonin is found in the gastrointestinal tract.

Function

  • Dopamine plays in a role in regulation of behavior, voluntary movement, cognition, motivation, reward, attention, learning and mood and inhibits production of prolactin, a hormone responsible for lactation, in the hypothalamus. Serotonin plays a role in regulation of mood, appetite, sleep, memory and learning and in the gastrointestinal tract, it stimulates metabolism, cellular growth and digestion.

Misconceptions

  • Orally ingesting serotonin or dopamine will not make an individual experience increased happiness or pleasure, since neither chemical can cross the blood-brain barrier.

Conditions & Treatment (Dopamine)

  • Medical conditions associated with low dopamine levels include Parkinson's disease, social phobia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and major depression. Bipolar mania is associated with high dopamine levels. Antipsychotic medications, including risperidone, reduce dopamine levels which helps stabilize mood during manic episodes of bipolar disorder. Medications that increase dopamine levels include levodopa (used for Parkinson's Disease), amphetamines (used for ADHD) and some antidepressants.

Conditions & Treatment (Serotonin)

  • Medical conditions associated with low serotonin levels include depression, anxiety disorders, obesity, migraines and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Serotonin syndrome, migraines, gastrointestinal problems, and certain types of cardiovascular disease, including endocardial fibrosis, are associated with high serotonin levels. Medications that are available for increasing serotonin levels include antidepressants and some anti-migraine medications. Some anti-nausea medications, including odansetron, decrease serotonin production in the gastrointestinal tract.

Drugs of Abuse

  • Cocaine and amphetamines are two drugs that significantly increase dopamine levels. MDMA (ecstasy), psilocybin-containing mushrooms, mescaline and LSD increase serotonin levels.

References

  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Jon Olav Eikenes
Promoted By Zergnet

You May Also Like

  • What Is the Function of Dopamine?

    Dopamine is a neurotransmitter produced by the hypothalamus and has many natural functions. It can also be synthesized and taken as a...

  • Serotonin Vs. Melatonin

    Serotonin and melatonin are essential neurotransmitters with distinct roles in regulating mood and health. Serotonin is a natural stimulant. Melatonin is a...

  • How to Restore Dopamine

    Dopamine is a chemical that is found in the human body, within the brain. It serves as a neurotransmitter, a transporter, so...

  • How to Test Dopamine & Serotonin Levels

    Neurotransmitters are used to pass messages along through the body and the brain. Two of these neurotransmitters are called serotonin and dopamine....

  • Tobacco Effects on Serotonin

    For smokers, part of the pleasure obtained from cigarette-smoking comes from the physical effects of nicotine. However, this is also one of...

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of a Yelp Sales Manager

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!