What you need to know about Dopamine

Dopamine is a catecholamine neurotransmitter and a hormone.

It is referred to as the “molecule of more”. It works together with Serotonin and norepinephrine.

Every time you do something that provides a measure of pleasure or reward, dopamine is released which reinforces the behaviour. The brain’s memory center then stores that reward and that in turn increases motivation or the incentive to do it again.

  • helps us to stay focused
  • improves working memory
  • is involved in anticipation
  • helps us to feel pleasure
  • can increase motivation
  • regulates motor coordination

Sometimes Dopamine does not function correctly, this produces a dysregulation which can result in either too much dopamine or too little.

Associated with high dopamine:

  • Poor muscle control
  • delusions
  • high libido
  • insomnia
  • mania
  • obesity
  • addiction
  • schizophrenia
  • competition
  • aggression

Symptoms of low dopamine:

  • a lack of motivation
  • getting bored easily
  • can’t focus
  • apathy
  • fatigue
  • anti-social
  • addictive behaviour
  • fear
  • worry
  • compulsive behaviour
  • risk seeking
  • binge eating
  • opioid dependency

Genetics in dopamine


An increased COMT activity accelerates the breakdown of dopamine and may lead to lower dopamine levels. This affects executive functioning and can lead to addictive behaviour in an attempt to increase dopamine.


Variations in these genetics can lead to bipolar, compulsive and risk-seeking behaviours, alcoholism and opioid addiction, and binge eating behaviour and ADHD.


Opioid receptors help to regulate pain, reward, and addictive behaviour. Genetic variants can result in a risk for addiction to pain medication as well as nicotine, cocaine, and alcohol.


The DNA Mind reports on variants in genes that have significant associations with mental health including risk for addictive behavior, cognitive decline, depression, anxiety and mood regulating.

The test is suitable for those who are concerned about a family history of, or are personally suffering from mental illness, specifically around addiction, cognitive decline, or mood disorders.

Contact me for more information on the test.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *