i thort this was a very good read up

Lion Heart

Lion Heart

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kent
#1
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter linked to motor/movement disorders, ADHD, addictions, paranoia, and schizophrenia. Dopamine strongly influences both motor and thinking areas of the brain.

One type of Dopamine works in the brain movement and motor system. As this level of dopamine decreases below the “normal range” we begin to experience more motor and gross-movement problems. Very low levels of Dopamine in the motor areas of the brain are known to produce Parkinson’s Disease with symptoms such as:

Muscle rigidity and stiffness

Stooped/unstable posture

Loss of balance and coordination

Gait (walking pattern) disturbance

Slow movements and difficulty with voluntary movements

Small-step gait/walking

Aches in muscles

Tremors and shaking

Fixed, mask-like facial expression

Slow, monotone speech

Impairment of fine-motor skills

Falling when walking

Impairment in cognitive/intellectual ability

Dopamine in the thinking areas of the brain might be considered the neurotransmitter of focus and attending. Low levels impair our ability to focus on our environment or to “lock on” to tasks, activities, or conversations. Low levels of Dopamine make concentration and focus very difficult with low levels also associated with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). On the other end of the Dopamine dipstick, as Dopamine levels in the brain begin to raise, we become excited/energized, then suspicious and paranoid, then finally hyperstimulated by our environment. With low levels of Dopamine, we can’t focus while with high levels of Dopamine our focus becomes narrowed and intense to the point of focusing on everything in our environment as though it were directly related to our situation.

Mild elevations in Dopamine are associated with addictions. Nicotine, cocaine, and other substances produce a feeling of excited euphoria by increasing Dopamine levels in the brain. Too much of these chemicals/substances and we feel “wired” as moderate levels of Dopamine make us hyperstimulated – paying too much attention to our environment due to being overstimulated and unable to separate what’s important and what is not.

In an ADHD child, low levels of Dopamine don’t allow the child to focus or attend to anything in the environment, looking very physically hyperactive when running about the room or switching from activity-to-activity due to their lack of focus. As Dopamine levels increase above the normal range, our ability to focus increases to the point of being paranoid. Mild elevations make the environment overly stimulating and excited.

Moderately high Dopamine levels make us on-guard, suspicious, and prone to misinterpret experiences in the environment. Known as an “idea of reference” in psychiatry, we begin thinking unrelated experiences are suddenly directly related to us. People observed talking across the street are now talking about us. As Dopamine increases, it can become so intense that we feel the radio, television, and newspaper contain secret messages directed at us from Hollywood or elsewhere. It’s as though we are attempting to incorporate/add everything we witness into our life. Planes flying overhead are snapping pictures of us and motorists talking on cellular phones are calling in a report on us. Our mind speed increases and races in an attempt to add all we see into our life. In an attempt to make sense, we may become extremely religious, paranoid, or feel we are a very important person. Increased Dopamine also increases the perception of our senses, as though turning up the volume in all our senses – hearing, vision, taste, smell, and touch.

As Dopamine levels increase, the noises we heard loudly suddenly become auditory hallucinations. Our inner thoughts are now being heard outside our body. These “voices” begin talking to us, known to take different forms such as derogatory (putting you down), religious topics, command (telling you to do something), or sexual content. Hallucinations (experiencing something that is not truly there in reality) will soon develop in all our senses. We may begin seeing faces in clouds, carpets, or patterns. We may sense the touch of spirits or movements inside our body. We may experience unusual smells or tastes.

High levels of Dopamine in the brain often cause us to lose our contact with reality. As though living in a science-fiction movie, we begin to develop unusual if not bizarre ideas about what is happening to us. With our paranoia, we may experience delusions (false beliefs) of persecution or may think we have super powers (delusions of grandiosity) and can predict the future or read minds. High levels of Dopamine are found in Schizophrenia, drug intoxication, and other psychotic conditions where the ability to distinguish the inner world from the real world is impaired.

Treatment for psychiatric/medical conditions associated with Dopamine imbalance, as you might expect, involves increasing or decreasing Dopamine levels in the brain. Low-Dopamine disorders are treated with medications that increase Dopamine in the brain. For Parkinson’s Disease – L Dopa is prescribed and for ADHD, medications that are psychostimulants. Amphetamines and medications with similar action actually slow down the hyperactive (ADHD) children by increasing Dopamine – boasting their level into the normal range, allowing them to now focus and attend.

Mildly elevations in Dopamine are associated with addictions such as narcotics, speed, and nicotine/smoking. Thus, medications used in the treatment of addictions actually block or lower Dopamine production. If a medication blocks dopamine, it also blocks the effects of the addicted substance as well as blocking the craving sensation. The medication to help smokers, Zyban, is actually the antidepressant Wellbutrin that is known to block Dopamine.

Moderate to high levels of Dopamine, associated with severe psychiatric conditions such as Paranoia and Schizophrenia, are treated with medications that block or lower Dopamine in the brain. These medications, called antipsychotics, have been available for many years. Early antipsychotic medications however, lowered Dopamine throughout the brain, including the Dopamine located in the motor/movement areas. For that reason, older antipsychotic medications produced motor/movement problems that looked like Parkinson’s Disease – short-step gait, fixed facial expression, tremors, poor balance, etc. Newer medications have fewer side effects in motor areas, as they are able to specifically target one type of Dopamine.

Dopamine levels typically change very slowly. Patients who develop Paranoia and/or Schizophrenia often experience a gradual increase in Dopamine levels over several years – also experiencing an increase in the severity of symptoms over those years. A typical high school or college student may develop a sense of being on-edge or unusual feelings, gradually becoming suspicious and feeling alienated, moving into auditory hallucinations, and finally developing bizarre false beliefs (delusions) of persecution or exaggerated self-importance over the next several years. Stress can often rapidly increase Dopamine, but it still rarely happens overnight.

When an individual becomes psychotic, paranoid, and hallucinates in only a few days, we must strongly suspect medication/drug intoxication or neurological events – something that could increase Dopamine levels dramatically and almost instantly. The prolonged use of amphetamines (speed) or steroids can produce a loss of reality and sudden paranoia. As it might happen, a construction worker taking “street” speed to increase his work productivity finds his hand or foot talking to him (auditory hallucinations) and decides to cut it off. The sudden presence of psychosis (hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, etc.) in an individual with a history of prior normal adjustment would suggest the need for intensive medical and neurological workup.
 
eli58

eli58

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#3
The medication to help smokers, Zyban, is actually the antidepressant Wellbutrin that is known to block Dopamine.
Thanks Lion Heart for a very well written, informative and readable article.
I've just picked up a prescription for Zyban to treat my Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. My understanding is that Zyban & Wellbutrin are brand names of medications containing bupropion hydrochloride which acts as Norepinphrine/Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors (NRDI) analogous to fluoxetine hydrochloride (such as Prozac) inhibiting the reuptake of Serotonin (another neurotransmitter).
The Zyban patient information leaflet makes no mention of anti-depression or treatment for adhd or treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder but purely describes the medication as an aid for the cessation of smoking.
My psychiatrist asked my GP's practice to prescribe it and they initially declined the request as Zyban is 'off-label' for ADD/ADHD. I went to see my regular GP however, and she, God bless her, persuaded the others. I have to wait before I can start taking it to make sure the result of blood tests indicate that my liver and kidneys will be able to cope.
 
eli58

eli58

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Joined
Apr 17, 2013
Messages
26
Location
Westminster, London, UK
#4
Lion Heart;84300/ said:
The medication to help smokers, Zyban, is actually the antidepressant Wellbutrin that is known to block Dopamine.
Thanks Lion Heart for a very well written, informative and readable article.
I've just picked up a prescription for Zyban to treat my Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. My understanding is that Zyban & Wellbutrin are brand names of medications containing bupropion hydrochloride which acts as Norepinphrine/Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors (NRDI) analogous to fluoxetine hydrochloride (such as Prozac) inhibiting the reuptake of Serotonin (another neurotransmitter).
The Zyban patient information leaflet makes no mention of anti-depression or treatment for adhd or treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder but purely describes the medication as an aid for the cessation of smoking.
My psychiatrist asked my GP's practice to prescribe it and they initially declined the request as Zyban is 'off-label' for ADD/ADHD. I went to see my regular GP however, and she, God bless her, persuaded the others. I have to wait before I can start taking it to make sure the result of blood tests indicate that my liver and kidneys will be able to cope.