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30 June 2010

Weak-willed or too much dopamine?

Scientists have shed light on the brain processes that affect our willpower and make us act impulsively.

It's a common scenario: you're on a diet, determined to give up eating cake, but as you pass the deli counter, all resolve disappears.

The research may help explain why people affected by conditions such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), characterised by high levels of dopamine in the brain, tend to show extremely impulsive behaviour. Similarly, it highlights why such behaviour can be a potential negative side-effect of L-dopa, a drug used to help alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

 
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