Posts Tagged ‘dopamine’

Your brain … in love

Neuroscientists have long wondered whether or not there’s a love locus in the brain; a spot where romance resides amidst the complex circuits and intricate chemicals that comprise our emotional nervous system. Recent studies have surprised us as neurologists; there is such a spot and, interestingly, it involves the nerve cells and neural circuits that drive us to crave food, water and even illicit drugs. And these are not the circuits that involve lust or sexual … Read More

Violence in the brain? And beer …

Physicians and researchers have some pretty amazing ways of peering inside the human brain. And some of those methods — and what they might show us — have been in the news a lot lately. A couple of neurosurgeons at Boston University, who have studied former NFL football players and others who have received repeated hits to the head, say that the brain of alleged Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev should be studied in a special … Read More

Brain imaging in Parkinson’s disease

Traditional brain imaging with CT and MRI scans do not show changes in the brain when someone has Parkinson’s disease and are generally not helpful in diagnosis.  A new kind of brain scan, called a DaT scan, does show changes in persons with Parkinson’s disease and may someday become an important tool in diagnosing Parkinson’s. The dopamine transporter, or DaT, scan uses a chemical that labels the dopamine transporter in the area of the brain … Read More

Valentine’s Day and love — more about your brain than your heart

As Valentine’s Day nears, and we think about love and attraction, it’s tempting to think it’s all about longing stares and fluttering hearts and fate. But beneath all of that, it’s really about … dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin and vasopressin. Because when we talk about “chemistry” between two people, we are also talking a lot about “brain chemistry.” A couple of years ago, I was part of a special multimedia presentation, with Grammy nominated vocalist … Read More

Restless legs and the holiday season

Do you notice that you are not sleeping as well during the holiday season? There can be a number of possible reasons for that; one includes a disorder called restless leg syndrome, or RLS. RLS is diagnosed by clinical symptoms. Four necessary features must be present: 1) an urge to move the legs, usually accompanied by an uncomfortable or unpleasant sensation in the legs; 2) the urge or unpleasant sensation begins or worsens during periods … Read More

Feeling slow on Turkey Day

It’s 3 p.m. You have just gorged yourself on Thanksgiving turkey. How are your Parkinson’s symptoms? Feeling more slowed down? Noticing more tremor? Feeling stiffer? It may be more then the tryptophan (in the turkey) that’s affecting you. Large neutral amino acids that are present in protein rich foods (like turkey) can compete with the transportation of levodopa from the stomach to the blood and from the blood to the brain. Levodopa is the primary … Read More

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