Dopamine functions both as a hormone and a neurotransmitter, and plays several important roles in the brain and body. It is an organic chemical of the catecholamine and phenethylamine families. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, one of those chemicals that is responsible for transmitting signals between the nerve cells (neurons) of the brain. ... Some, in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra, are the cells that die during Parkinson's disease. Dopamine is one of the “feel good” chemicals in our brain. Interacting with the pleasure and reward center of our brain, dopamine — along with other chemicals like serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins — plays a vital role in how happy we feel. In addition to our mood, dopamine also affects movement, memory, and focus. A dopamine deficiency may be related to certain medical conditions, including depression and Parkinson's disease. A dopamine deficiency can be due to a drop in the amount of dopamine made by the body or a problem with the receptors in the brain.