Essay on Caffeine Effects In The Brain

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Caffeine Effects In The Brain

Caffeine acts in a multitude of ways in the brain. The most recent studies explore the cooperative effects of adenosine and dopamine, as well as the increase in calcium in the interstitial fluid and possible accumulation of cyclic adenosine monophospate. The most popular discussions of earlier studies of caffeine demonstrate its antagonistic effects on adenosine receptors. While it has been reported that adenosine receptors are located throughout the brain, the various subtypes can be found in very specific areas.
Studies have also shown that caffeine reactions in the brain are based on the localization of adenosine receptors, dopamine receptors, and the amount of caffeine.
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(Garrett, 1997; Myers, 1999) According to the
Pacific Nueropsychiatric Institute "caffeine inhibits phosphodiesterase breakdown of cyclie 3',-5'-adenosine monophosphate. (Pharmacology, caffeine, 2) Again, this occurs only in large quantities that have yet to be naturally found in vivo. (Myers, 1999) Keep in mind that if cyclic AMP had a greater than normal concentration in the synaptic cleft, it would continue to breakdown adenosine which has a depressant effect on functions in the brain. For example, adenosine in the central nervous system inhibits neurotransmitter release and depresses locomotor activity, however with higher concentrations of cyclic AMP there is less adenosine so, the effects on the biology of the brain are an enhanced neurotransmitter release, and stimulated locomotor activity (Garrett, 1997). Another way caffeine acts on the brain is indirectly through the dopamine receptors. As stated by Garrett and
Griffiths (1997), "Although caffeine does not bind directly to dopamine receptors a number of conflicting reports suggest that caffeine can either decrease or increase dopamine release" (p.535). For example, "Caffeine significantly decreases dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) levels in the striatum, hypothalamus, and frontal cortex, but increases DOPAC levels in the nucleus accumbens"
(p.535).

Caffeine also is responsible for significant

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