Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Dopamine
Dopamine is a brain chemical called a neurotransmitter that
carries signals between nerve cells and helps the brain perform critical
functions. Dopamine helps the brain control motor functions and movement and
possibly to perform other functions related to mood.
An imbalance or shortage of dopamine can cause brain dysfunction
and disease. For example, in Parkinson's disease, underproduction of dopamine
interferes with the transmission of signals directing movement. This can cause
tremors, or shaking, often in a hand, arm, or leg as well as slow, limited
movement (bradykinesia), especially when the person tries to move from a
Current as of:
February 19, 2016
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & G. Frederick Wooten, MD - Neurology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.