Perhaps more than any other neurotransmitter, dopamine has received attention for its potential involvement in psychiatric disorders ranging from Substance Abuse to Schizophrenia. This focus relies primarily on the capacity of drugs that manipulate dopamine transmission to ameliorate or exacerbate psychiatric conditions. However, our emerging comprehension of brain circuitry and function permits an understanding of dopamine transmission in the brain that is both more integrated and accurate. This short description of dopamine systems will explicate the components of dopamine transmission, such as synthesis, release, and receptor signaling, and using brain circuitry to assemble the dopamine neurons and projections into overall brain functions.
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