Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Pigment found in the brain that is an end product of a biochemical pathway that converts tyrosine to DOPA to dopamine to neuromelanin in cells found in the brain stem; the final product is catalyzed by the neurotransmitters adrenaline and noradrenaline. This is a different process from, and should not be confused with, the pathway in skin cells that produces eumelanin and phaeomelanin. Neuromelanin contributes to the inactivation of free radicals in neural tissues.