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November 14, 1977

Medical News

JAMA. 1977;238(20):2113-2126. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280210005001

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Role of dopamine examined in schizophrenia and parkinsonism  The neurotransmitter dopamine may be important in the development of at least two diseases.Schizophrenia, some believe, results from an overactive dopaminergic system. Consequently, many researchers are trying to find dopamine receptor-blocking agents.Conversely, other investigators are trying to find direct-acting agents that stimulate dopamine receptors. They hope such agents will benefit patients with parkinsonism, a disease in which dopamine apparently is lacking in the striatum.There is much controversy and confusion, however, about whether the keys to these diseases actually are the dopamine antagonists (which block access to, and consequently the action of, dopamine receptors) and dopamine agonists (which stimulate presynaptic activity of the dopaminergic system).For example, it has been suggested that dopamine depends on the cyclic adenosine monophosphate system that alters membrane permeability by protein kinasemediated phosphorylation. Other scientists speculate that dopamine may actually work through endorphin neurons,