Dopamine has many functions, including motivation, arousal, reinforcement, reward, motor control, and executive function. From a therapeutic point of view we can equate reward with dopamine, be it appetite or sexual satisfaction, or even complex social and cognitive satisfactions (such as understanding what is going on in your client’s brain!). Most dopaminergic neurons are in the midbrain and hypothalamus.
Dopamine is a catecholamine from the broader group of amino acids know as monoamines.
Dopamine projections emanating from the brainstem, including the substantia nigra (SN) into the caudate nucleus.
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