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Dopamine, DRD4 and
• Dopamine is a neurotransmitter
• The D4 receptor is a receptor on cell surface
membranes for Dopamine, which when activated
inhibits the enzyme adenylate cyclase reducing
the concentration of cyclic AMP in the cell.
• DRD4 is one of 5 genes that code for dopamine
receptor molecules. Dopamine can bind to each
of these but they cause different affects because
of the cellular responses they initiate. There are
currently over 50 known variants in the DRD4
gene – it is thought that the inheritance of
particular variants affects the levels and action of
the dopamine.
• Alzheimer's patients are known to exhibit
diminished levels of dopamine and other
neurotransmitters. Disturbances in those levels
affect behavior, feelings, appetite and many other
systems of the body.
• The noncognitive aspects of dementia are usually
linked to serotonin and dopamine because those
neurotransmitter systems most directly influence
mood, emotional balance and psychosis.
• Current research indicates medications that alter
dopamine levels and transmission may alleviate
some of the mood and emotional balance issues
that afflict Alzheimer's patients.
•DRD4 may be associated with predisposing
the development of psychotic or aggressive
symptoms in Alzheimers’ disease
•The DRD4 receptor helps regulate brain
levels of dopamine, a chemical in the brain
that is essential for attention and cognition,
and variations in DRD4's composition have
been linked to Alzheimers’
•People with Alzhiemers’ have a shortage of
Acetylcholine in their brain
•Dopamine could be deficient in Alzheimers’
Alzheimers’ Disease…
• During the course of the disease, 'plaques' and
'tangles' develop in the structure of the brain,
leading to the death of brain cells.
• People with Alzheimer's also have a shortage of
some important chemicals in their brains.
These chemicals are involved with the
transmission of messages within the brain.
• carriers of the ApoE4 gene variant have a much
higher chance of developing Alzheimer's