One of the catecholamines, widely distributed in the central nervous system. Through a series of enzymatic reactions (see enzyme) it is formed from levodopa and converted to norepinephrine and then epinephrine. It is a central nervous system neurotransmitter essential to control of motion; it also acts as a hormone. Degeneration of certain dopamine-producing brain cells results in parkinsonism.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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