LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAGUNA DESIGN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Dopamine neurotransmitter molecule. Computer model showing the molecular structure of the human neurotransmitter and hormone dopamine. Atoms are colour-coded spheres (carbon: dark grey, hydrogen: light grey, nitrogen: blue, and oxygen: red). Dopamine plays a crucial role in the brain's reward and pleasure pathways. It is released by the brain when a pleasurable new stimulus is encountered, and directs the brain to find more of the stimulus. As such it plays a significant role in addiction. Lack of dopamine is linked to numerous disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, depression and schizophrenia.
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