The motivation molecule

Dopamine, the “Kim Kardashian of neurotransmitters”, plays an important role in the way we experience our life by affecting our:

  • motivation,
  • movement,
  • attention,
  • concentration,
  • sleep,
  • desire,
  • sex life,
  • and feelings of pleasure and reward.

It even affects our willingness to work!

Conditions associated with dopamine are difficult to understand and even trickier to treat because of their complexity. However, if there’s an imbalance in the dopamine system or blockages in the way it travels, neuropsychological and neuropsychiatric conditions can occur: too little dopamine can lead to movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and dystonia; and too much can lead to schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders.

Chemicals in the environment such as glyphosate and mycotoxins can block the transportation of dopamine and even destroy it. A recent study shows how a common chemical found in mold from water-damaged buildings (WDB) destroys the brain cells that transmit dopamine. You have probably experienced this chemical compound (1-octen-3-ol); it’s that musty smell that hits you when you enter a moldy house.

Having worked in a water-damaged classroom with no windows for 4 years, and being diagnosed with 2 movement disorders, I’ve been focusing on gentle ways to support and balance the levels of dopamine in my system:

PRACTICES

FOODS

  • Protein rich food such as seafood, meat, and eggs;
  • Tyrosine found in beets, poultry, seafood, and turkey;
  • Quercitin” found in apples;
  • Watermelon;
  • Folate rich vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and cauliflower;
  • Betaine found in beets;
  • Green tea matcha;
  • Chocolate;
  • Nuts and seeds;
  • Organic foods;
  • Balance blood sugar levels.

HERBS

SUPPLEMENTS

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REFERENCES

Asghar, M., George, L., & Lokhandwala, M. F. (2007). Exercise decreases oxidative stress and inflammation and restores renal dopamine D1 receptor function in old rats. American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology, 293(3), F914-F919.

Bove, A. A., Dewey, J. D., & Tyce, G. M. (1984). Increased conjugated dopamine in plasma after exercise training. The Journal of laboratory and clinical medicine, 104(1), 77–85.

Garland, E., Froeliger, B., & Howard, M. (2014). Mindfulness training targets neurocognitive mechanisms of addiction at the attention-appraisal-emotion interface. Frontiers in psychiatry, 4, 173.

Hernández-Plata, I., Giordano, M., Díaz-Muñoz, M., & Rodríguez, V. M. (2015). The herbicide glyphosate causes behavioral changes and alterations in dopaminergic markers in male Sprague-Dawley rat. Neurotoxicology, 46, 79–91.

Inamdar, A. A., Hossain, M. M., Bernstein, A. I., Miller, G. W., Richardson, J. R., & Bennett, J. W. (2013). Fungal-derived semiochemical 1-octen-3-ol disrupts dopamine packaging and causes neurodegeneration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(48), 19561–19566.

Kehr, J., Yoshitake, S., Ijiri, S., Koch, E., Nöldner, M., & Yoshitake, T. (2012). Ginkgo biloba leaf extract (EGb 761®) and its specific acylated flavonol constituents increase dopamine and acetylcholine levels in the rat medial prefrontal cortex: possible implications for the cognitive enhancing properties of EGb 761®. International Psychogeriatrics, 24(S1), S25-S34.

Kulkarni, S., and A. Dhir. “An overview of curcumin in neurological disorders.” Indian journal of pharmaceutical sciences 72, no. 2 (2010): 149.

Lucero, M. T., Farrington, H., & Gilly, W. F. (1994). Quantification of L-dopa and dopamine in squid ink: implications for chemoreception. The Biological Bulletin, 187(1), 55–63.

Richardson, B. D., Saha, K., Krout, D., Cabrera, E., Felts, B., Henry, L. K., … & Khoshbouei, H. (2016). Membrane potential shapes regulation of dopamine transporter trafficking at the plasma membrane. Nature communications, 7.

Salimpoor, V. N., Benovoy, M., Larcher, K., Dagher, A., & Zatorre, R. J. (2011). Anatomically distinct dopamine release during anticipation and experience of peak emotion to music. Nature neuroscience, 14(2), 257–262.

Stein, D. J., Ives-Deliperi, V., & Thomas, K. G. (2008). Psychobiology of mindfulness. CNS spectrums, 13(09), 752–756.

Van Kampen, J., Robertson, H., Hagg, T., & Drobitch, R. (2003). Neuroprotective actions of the ginseng extract G115 in two rodent models of Parkinson’s disease. Experimental neurology, 184(1), 521–529.

Yamada, T., Terashima, T., Okubo, T., Juneja, L. R., & Yokogoshi, H. (2005). Effects of theanine, r-glutamylethylamide, on neurotransmitter release and its relationship with glutamic acid neurotransmission. Nutritional neuroscience, 8(4), 219–226.

WEBSITE

University of Florida. (2016, January 25). Researchers uncover how dopamine transports within the brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2016 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160125184333.htm