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Medicine (MD/DO)
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First Aid
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First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 (2023)
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Page 510 -
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Mesocortical Pathway (Dopaminergic)

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Mesocortical Pathway (Dopaminergic)

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6 KEY FACTS
Dopamine Pathway
Doberman Pathway

The mesocortical pathway is one of the four dopaminergic pathways involved in the release of dopamine.

LOCATION
Ventral Tegmental Area
Tiger-metal

The mesocortical pathway begins in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the midbrain and extends to the prefrontal cortex of the frontal lobe.

Prefrontal Cortex
Cortez-pointing to Prefrontal

The mesocortical pathway begins in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the midbrain and extends to the prefrontal cortex of the frontal lobe.

CHARACTERISTICS
Executive Function
Executive who can't Function

The mesocortical pathway is known to control the executive functioning of the brain. This functioning can involve planning, cognition, attention, motivation, and emotional response.

DEFECT
Negative Symptoms
Negative-sign

An inhibition or defect of the mesocortical pathway leads to the presentation of negative symptoms (e.g., lack of energy, flat affect, anhedonia, apathy) often seen in those with schizophrenia.

Limited Antipsychotic Efficacy
Ant-tie-psychiatrist with Limit sign

Overall, the mesocortical pathway has limited efficacy in terms of responding to antipsychotics.

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