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Dopamine (contracted from 3,4-dihydroxyphenethylamine) is a hormone (also known as Prolactin Inhibiting Hormone/Factor - PIH or PIF) and neurotransmitter of the catecholamine and phenethylamine families that plays a number of important roles in the human brain and body. Its name derives from its chemical structure: it is an amine that is formed by removing a carboxyl group from a molecule of L-DOPA. In the brain, dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter—a chemical released by nerve cells to send signals to other nerve cells. The brain includes several distinct dopamine systems, one of which plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior. Most types of reward increase the level of dopamine in the brain, and a variety of addictive drugs increase dopamine neuronal activity. Other brain dopamine systems are involved in motor control and in controlling the release of several other important hormones. A variety of important drugs work by altering the way the body makes or uses dopamine.

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Amygdala: threat asessment and learning Human brain in the coronal orientation. Amygdalae are shown in dark red. Structure[edit] Oxytocin: the "love hormone" Oxytocin (/ˌɒksɨˈtoʊsɪn/; Oxt) is a mammalian neurohypophysial hormone. Produced by the hypothalamus and stored and secreted by the posterior pituitary gland, oxytocin acts primarily as a neuromodulator in the brain. Oxytocin plays an important role in the neuroanatomy of intimacy, specifically in sexual reproduction of both sexes, in particular during and after childbirth; its name comes from Greek ὀξύς, oksys "swift" and τόκος, tokos "birth." It is released in large amounts after distension of the cervix and uterus during labor, facilitating birth, maternal bonding, and, after stimulation of the nipples, lactation. Both childbirth and milk ejection result from positive feedback mechanisms.[3] Recent studies have begun to investigate oxytocin's role in various behaviors, including orgasm, social recognition, pair bonding, anxiety, and maternal behaviors.[4] For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as the "bonding hormone".

Norepinephrine Medically it is used in those with severe hypotension. It does this by increasing vascular tone (tension of vascular smooth muscle) through α-adrenergic receptor activation. Areas of the body that produce or are affected by norepinephrine are described as noradrenergic. The terms noradrenaline (from the Latin) and norepinephrine (from the Greek) are interchangeable, with noradrenaline being the common name in most parts of the world. by Pauline N. Harding, MD, who is residency trained in Internal Medicine, Board Certified in Family Practice, and licensed as a Nutrition Counselor. She is an instructor in the Department of Family Practice at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago.

Adenosine Adenosine (ADO) is a purine nucleoside comprising a molecule of adenine attached to a ribose sugar molecule (ribofuranose) moiety via a β-N9-glycosidic bond. Adenosine plays an important role in biochemical processes, such as energy transfer — as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and adenosine diphosphate (ADP) — as well as in signal transduction as cyclic adenosine monophosphate, cAMP. It is also an inhibitory neurotransmitter, believed to play a role in promoting sleep and suppressing arousal. Adenosine also plays a role in regulation of blood flow to various organs through vasodilation.[1][2][3]

High-fat diet prompts immune cells to start eating connections between neurons When a high-fat diet causes us to become obese, it also appears to prompt normally bustling immune cells in our brain to become sedentary and start consuming the connections between our neurons, scientists say. The good news is going back on a low-fat diet for just two months, at least in mice, reverses this trend of shrinking cognitive ability as weight begins to normalize, said Dr. Alexis M.

Stress (biology) Walter Cannon used it in 1926 to refer to external factors that disrupted what he called homeostasis.[2] But "...stress as an explanation of lived experience is absent from both lay and expert life narratives before the 1930s".[3] Physiological stress represents a wide range of physical responses that occur as a direct effect of a stressor causing an upset in the homeostasis of the body. Upon immediate disruption of either psychological or physical equilibrium the body responds by stimulating the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. The reaction of these systems causes a number of physical changes that have both short and long term effects on the body. Homeostasis is a concept central to the idea of stress. In biology, most biochemical processes strive to maintain equilibrium (homeostasis), a steady state that exists more as an ideal and less as an achievable condition. The ambiguity in defining this phenomenon was first recognized by Hans Selye (1907-1982) in 1926.

Serotonin Serotonin /ˌsɛrəˈtoʊnɨn/ or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) is a monoamine neurotransmitter. Biochemically derived from tryptophan, serotonin is primarily found in the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract), platelets, and the central nervous system (CNS) of animals, including humans. It is popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness.[6] Brain-derived neurotrophic factor Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, also known as BDNF, is a secreted protein[2] that, in humans, is encoded by the BDNF gene.[3][4] BDNF is a member of the "neurotrophin" family of growth factors, which are related to the canonical "nerve growth factor", NGF. Neurotrophic factors are found in the brain and the periphery. Function[edit] BDNF acts on certain neurons of the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system, helping to support the survival of existing neurons, and encourage the growth and differentiation of new neurons and synapses.[5][6] In the brain, it is active in the hippocampus, cerebral cortex, and basal forebrain—areas vital to learning, memory, and higher thinking.[7] BDNF itself is important for long-term memory.[8] BDNF was the second neurotrophic factor to be characterized after nerve growth factor (NGF). Tissue distribution[edit]

Short winter days trigger aggression hormones differently based on sex: Territorial hamsters reveal biological mechanism behind the difference in male versus female aggression Indiana University researchers have discovered a hormonal mechanism in hamsters that connects short winter days with increased aggression in females, and that it differs from the mechanism that controls this same response in males. The work, which advances basic knowledge on the connection between certain sex hormones and aggression, could go on to advance research on the treatment of inappropriate aggression in humans. The study appears online Nov. 18 in the Proceedings of the Royal Academy B. The research is a collaboration between the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Biology and Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

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