Dopamine deficiency is not the only cause of Parkinson's
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is involved in various brain functions - controls motor activity and emotional reactions, directly affects the centers of pleasure and is responsible for our motivation and concentration.
Low levels of this brain "chemical" can contribute significantly to feelings of anxiety, even depression and inertia. Persons with persistently low dopamine levels are more likely to be addicted to caffeine, sugar and other stimulants such as cigarettes. They are also prone to drug abuse.
Stress leads to an increase in a number of hormones, of which dopamine is a part, but together with cortisol and norepinephrine. Dopamine is also called the molecule of curiosity, because it is synthesized in larger quantities when we encounter something new - whether a new job or acquiring new habits.
Studying familiar matter, along with giving something new as information, also leads to an increase in dopamine and reinforces what is better learned - and therefore better reconsensation.
Low dopamine levels have been linked to Parkinson's disease, restless legs syndrome and depression. Low levels are the cause of severe fatigue, without any factors that cause it. In addition, those affected by neurotransmitter deficiency are more capricious, highly unmotivated. The susceptibility to take risks that are not justified is also expressed.
Patients complain of problems with short-term memory, managing daily tasks and solving simple mental tasks.
Hand tremors , loss of balance or coordination, increased muscle stiffness and the presence of muscle cramps are some of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including chronic constipation, are also a manifestation of dopamine deficiency.
Blood tests for free dopamine levels alone do not provide much information about the absence or presence of Parkinson's. The reason is that it cannot determine how the brain responds to the neurotransmitter.
A dopamine transporter test is required. This is a imaging test that involves injecting a radioactive agent (such as a dye) into the bloodstream, then tracking its transport using single-photon emission computed tomography.
How to increase dopamine levels?
Whether it is painting, writing, music, dance or other art, creative processes significantly affect the level of dopamine in the body.
Exercise also increases the concentration of the neurotransmitter, as well as the level of serotonin and endorphins. In addition, a connection has been established with neurogenesis - the synthesis of nerve cells, which years ago were thought not to form after birth. The result can be there even on a short walk.
Lack of sleep drastically affects the presence of dopamine the next day. This in turn leads to decreased concentration and difficulty coordinating. Lack of dopamine can make a person drowsy, and lack of sleep can also lower dopamine levels.
During periods of low exposure to sunlight, levels of neurotransmitters also fall.
Tyrosine plays an important role in dopamine synthesis. This amino acid can be obtained through foods such as almonds, avocados, bananas, beef and chicken, chocolate, coffee, green tea, eggs, fresh and yogurt, watermelon.