Dopamine neurotransmission (DA) has a major role in motor
control. Disturbing motoric features in Parkinson’s disease (PD) are associated
with the loss of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra. The release of dopamine in the
forebrain nucleus accumbens is believed to play a significant role in measuring the rewarding effect of
pleasure. It was shown that the level of DA neurotransmissions is increased in
drug abusers and specifically during emotionally distressful situations.
Additional studies showed the presence of substance P receptors in dopamine neurons in
substantia nigra pars compacta, which is responsible for the transmission of
pain from the periphery to the central brain.
Managing emotional and physical pain might be one solution
to prevent the development of drug addition with pain medications. Further
research is necessary.
Source: Scott DJ, Heitzeg MM, Koeppe RA, Stohler CS, Zubieta JK. “Variations in the human pain stress
experience mediated by ventral and dorsal basal ganglia dopamine activity” J Neurosci. 2006 Oct
Significance of Breast Feeding on Intelligence
have shown that breast feeding has a little or no effect on intelligence. For
this study, mental capabilities of 5,475 children sampled from the 1979 US
National Longitudinal Survey were measured using the Peabody Individual
Achievement test. At the beginning, the results showed higher PIAT score by
more then 4 points. After the adjustment of data, which was performed for
certain confounders such as: maternal IQ (72% reduction), family poverty (16%
reduction) and maternal education level (13%), the results showed were not
While breast feeding has many advantages for the child and
mother, increasing the child’s intellect is unlikely to be one of them. Among
other beneficial factors are the establishment of a bond between mother and
child and getting a good nutrition, which are essential for the infant to grow
and thrive in the mother’s care.
of Depression in Post-Stroke Survivors
prevalence of depression among post-stroke patients has not been reported. The
recent study published in Stroke, November 2006, suggested that there
are few data about the treatment of depression in long-term post-stroke
patients. In spite of increased number of stroke survivors with depression
there is still very low antidepressant treatment. Investigators evaluated the
prevalence of depression in 441 post-stroke patients in five-year period. Forty-nine
percent of survivors were female with a mean age of 74. According to the
results obtained from the Depression and Anxiety Scale, 17% of patients had
depression. Among them, 22% patients were taking antidepressant medications.
Seventy-two percent were not depressed in those taking antidepressant
Source: Paul, Seana L. BSc (Hons); Dewey, Helen M. PhD; Sturm,
Jonathan W. PhD; Macdonell, Richard A.L. MD; Thrift, Amanda G. PhD. Prevalence of Depression and Use of Antidepressant Medication at
5-Years Post-stroke in the North East Melbourne Stroke Incidence Study
Stroke. Stroke, November 2006.