Impulsivity: Too Much Dopamine?

August 3, 2010

A brief report recently published in Science confirms the key role of dopamine (DA) in impulsive behavior. The researchers found that impulse control directly correlated with the amount of DA released in the striatum.

A brief report recently published in Science confirms the key role of dopamine (DA) in impulsive behavior. Joshua W. Buckholtz and colleagues used dual-scan positron emission tomography in healthy human volunteers to gauge whether diminished midbrain D2/D3 autoreceptor binding and greater amphetamine-induced DA release in the striatum were predictive of higher levels of trait impulsivity. The researchers found that impulse control directly correlated with the amount of DA released in the striatum. They further explored the relevance of enhanced striatal DA release to the risk for substance abuse. Their findings suggest that there is a neurobiological link between impulsiveness and drug abuse vulnerability-increased DA release predicted a stronger desire for drugs.

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