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Intro to Psychology
Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that transport information throughout the brain and body. Information is transported through nerve cells called neurons. Neurons relay important information throughout the brain telling the body to do its necessary functions like breathing, stomach digestion and controlling the heartbeat. They also do other thing to the body that can affect your mood, sleep, concentration and weight.
1. Norepinephrine - Commonly known as the “fight or flight” hormone which mobilizes the brain and body for action. It’s found in the part of the brain called the locus coerules. From the locus coerules, norepinephrine branches out into different parts of the brain. Using the same system, it can be delivered directly to target organs and cells in the body. Norepinephrine produces a natural hormone that preps the body and brain for action making it excitatory. There are many disorders that norepinephrine is used for such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity, depression and hypotension. Norepinephrine increases size in blood vessels which then affects the heart rate, slowing it down.
2. GABA - GABA is a neurotransmitter that sends chemical messages throughout the brain and nervous system. The chemical the distributed throughout the brain in order for it to do its main function. Its natural function is to reduce activity of neurons. It is believed another purpose is to control the fear or anxiety when neurons become overexcited. The main function for GABA is to reduce the activity of the neurons and nerve cells making it inhibitory. A lack of GABA can cause nerve cells to fire too easily. This results in panic attacks seizures and other conditions. Parkinson’s syndrome and cognitive impairment are also related to having low GABA.
3. Endorphins – Endorphins are produce from stimuli such as stress, fear and pain. The chemical is located mainly in pituitary, spinal cord and other parts of the body. Endorphins mainly interact with receptors cells in the part of the brain responsible for blocking pain and controlling emotions. Endorphins are two chemicals endogenous and morphine which stimulates the brain with euphoria making it excitatory. When Endorphins have trouble attaching to opioid receptors this can be responsible for moodiness, depression and mental illnesses such as obsessive-compulsive disorder.
4. Dopamine – Dopamine is produced in several areas of the brain but mainly in the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental. This neurotransmitter controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. It doesn’t just see the reward though; it also pushes us to take action to receive the reward. It’s other main functions is to regulate movement and emotions. Dopamine is both inhibitory and excitatory. When it rewards us it stimulates the brain. On the other end it also regulates the body’s movement which doesn’t involve any brain stimulation. Deficiency in dopamine can leave a person feeling apathetic, moody, unable to concentrate (ADHD and unmotivated.
5. Serotonin – Serotonin is a naturally produce chemical that is necessary for nerve cells and brain function. 80-90% of your body’s serotonin can be found in the gastrointestinal tract. It is believed serotonin can affect your mood, social behavior sleep appetite digestion memory and sex drive. Serotonin does not stimulate the brain so it is considered inhibitory. Serotonin Syndrome can occur when taking new medication that affect the serotonin levels. The symptoms include confusion, agitation/restlessness loss of muscle coordination, changes in blood pressure and several others.
6. Acetylcholine – Acetylcholine was the first identified neurotransmitter. It’s a small molecule excitatory neurotransmitter with multiple functions. ACh doesn’t have a main location as it is found throughout the body and brain. One main function of ACh is it is used to signal muscle movement. ACh is excitatory because it uses nerves in the body to function causing stimulation in the brain. A disorder on the neuromuscular transmission have several affects such as postsynaptic receptors, release of acetylcholine, breakdown of acetylene within synapse caused from neurotoxic chemicals.
http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic-disorders/peripheral-nervous-system-and-motor-unit-disorders/disorders-of-neuromuscular-transmissionhttp://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic-disorders/peripheral-nervous-system-and-motor-unit-disorders/disorders-of-neuromuscular-transmissionstimulates the brain. On the other end it also regulates the body’s movement which doesn’t involve any brain stimulation. Deficiency in dopamine can leave a person feeling apathetic, moody, unable to concentrate (ADHD and unmotivated.
6. Acetylcholine – Acetylcholine was the first identified neurotransmitter. It’s a small molecule excitatory neurotransmitter with multiple functions. ACh doesn’t have a main location as it is found throughout the body and brain. One main function of ACh is it is used to signal muscle movement. ACh is excitatory because it uses nerves in the body to function causing stimulation in the brain. A disorder on the neuromuscular tran