Addiction Solution Source

Lack of Dopamine Leads to Risk Taking

January 15th, 2009 · No Comments

Recent research by David Zald at Vanderbilt and published by the Journal of Neuroscience shows that people that have less of a particular type of dopamine receptor may lead them to taking more risks including the use of drugs.

Dopamine has long been known to play an important role in how we experience rewards from a variety of natural sources, including food and sex, as well as from drugs such as cocaine and amphetamine. Previous research has shown that individuals differ in both their number of dopamine receptors and the amount of dopamine they produce, and that these differences may play a critical role in addiction. Zald and his colleagues set out to explore the connection between dopamine receptors and the novelty-seeking personality trait.

“We’ve found that the density of these dopamine autoreceptors is inversely related to an individual’s interest in and desire for novel experiences,” stated David Zald. “The fewer available dopamine autoreceptors an individual has, the less they are able to regulate how much dopamine is released when these cells are engaged. Because of this, novelty and other potentially rewarding experiences that normally induce dopamine release will produce greater dopamine release in these individuals.”

The researchers used positron emission topography to view the levels of dopamine receptors in 34 healthy humans who had taken a questionnaire that measured the novelty-seeking personality trait. The questionnaire measured things such as an individual’s preference for and response to novelty, decision-making speed, a person’s readiness to freely spend money, and the extent to which a person is spontaneous and unconstrained by rules and regulations. The higher the score, the more likely the person was to be a novelty seeker or risk taker.

The researchers found that those that scored higher on the novelty-seeking scale had decreased dopamine autoreceptor availability compared to the subjects that scored lower.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse funded the research.

The best course of action a person should take is an extensive lab test. More information is available here >> HealthSolutionCenter.com

Bookmark and Share

Tags: News - Addiction and Alternative Health

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment

*