What Happens When Dopamine Receptors Are Blocked?

When the brain’s dopamine receptors are blocked, a person’s physical and mental well-being can be affected significantly. Dopamine receptors play critical roles in many neurological processes. These processes relate directly to locomotion, pleasure, memory, cognition and motivation, according to the Alcohol Rehab website.

The effects of blocking dopamine receptors range from mild to severe, and the impact varies based on the specific receptor being blocked. Dopamine activates the D1 to D5 dopamine receptors. Of particular interest to researchers is the D2 receptor, because it is thought to play a significant role in addiction. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health, specifically the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, found that D2 receptors help to prevent production of excessive behaviors and limit the rewarding effects of food and cocaine. Blocking these receptors, therefore produces the opposite effects. This research establishes a correlation between drug addiction and reduced availability of D2 dopamine receptors in the striatum region of the brain.

According to Pharmacological Reviews, researchers’ findings indicate that locomotion activity is controlled primarily by D1, D2 and D3 dopamine receptors. Blocking these receptors affects activity levels and control of movement. This research demonstrates the benefits of pharmacological targeting of specific types of dopamine receptors: This can be an effective approach to managing certain medical conditions. For instance, patients with schizophrenia or Parkinson’s Disease may benefit from blocked dopamine receptors.