Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Intermediate in the synthesis of catecholamine hormones, an intermediate in tyrosine metabolism, and precursor of norepinephrine and epinephrine. Dopamine accounts for 90% of the catecholamines in the body. Dopamine is a key neurotransmitter and basal ganglia inhibitor, and is involved in several left-hemisphere skills critical to language and thought. Dopamine also plays a role in counteracting hyperthermia during endurance activity by mediating endorphin release; in conjunction with epinephrine and phenylethylamine it can influence emotional perception and behavior.

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From "Dictionary of Nursing and Individual Health Care"