Dopamine levels have been implicated in many neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s disease and psychosis.
Data from this and other studies suggest a kind of Goldilocks effect for this important chemical messenger: too little or too much can dramatically interfere with normal cognition, behavior and motor skills.
Reiss and the study’s first author Doron Gothelf, MD, a child psychiatrist and postdoctoral scholar at Stanford, studied 24 children with a small deletion in one copy of chromosome 22.
- About 30 percent of children with this deletion,
- which occurs in about one in 4,000 births,
- will develop schizophrenia or a related psychotic disorder.
These children also often have special facial features, cardiac defects and cleft anomalies that often make their speech hypernasal.