Researchers of Yale University had discovered a changed version of dopamine transporter in healthy persons with genetical variations that may be associated with substance abuse or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Dopamine is a protein produced in the hypothalamus and some areas of the central and peripheral nervous system. Dopamine and its agonists play an important role in hormonal, cardiovascular, renal and central nervous system regulations. The dopamine transporter mediates the acceptance of dopamine into neurons and is often the target of various drugs targeting the functions of the systems activated by it.
The new study found out that one gene may be associated with several disorders like substance abuse, tobacco smoking and ADHD by altered levels of central dopamine transporter protein. This in turn influences the concentrations of extracellular dopamine.
The researchers had looked into the clinical examination records of 96 people and had cleared them from any neurological or psychological disorders, alcohol or substance dependence. The researchers had used SPECT imaging to find out the levels of dopamine transporter availability and found out the dopamine transporter genotypes for the study.
The research is published in the new edition of Journal of Nuclear Medicine.