BIOL 1010 Lecture Notes - Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor, Cardiovascular Disease, Asthma

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30 Jan 2013
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Absorption of alcohol is rapid but removal is always slow
The effects of the drug vary with the level of concentration of the drug in the
bloodstream, which in turn depends on the amount ingested in a particular period of
time, the presence or absence of food in the stomach to retain the alcohol and reduce
its absorption rate, the size of a person’s body and the efficiency of the liver
It has biphasic effect which means the initial effect of alcohol is stimulating the
drinker experiences an expansive feeling of sociability and well-being as the blood-
alcohol levels rises- but after the blood-alcohol level peaks and begins to decline,
alcohol acts as a depressant that may lead to negative emotions
Motor coordination, balance, speech, and vision is also impaired
Large doses can cause sedation, sleep and even death
Alcohol stimulates GABA receptors, which may be responsible for reducing tension,
it also increases the level of serotonin and dopamine (pleasurable effects)
Alcohol also inhibits glutamate receptors; which may cause the cognitive effects of
alcohol intoxication (slurred speech and memory loss)
People who actually drink alcohol also report increased sexual arousal, even though
alcohol actually lowers physiological arousal (which may be caused by cognition)
Long-term effects of Prolonged Alcohol Abuse
Almost every tissue and organ of the body is affected adversely by prolonged
consumption of alcohol malnutrition may be severe
In older chronic alcohol abusers, a deficiency of B-complex vitamins can cause
amnestic syndrome, a severe loss of memory for both recent and long-past events
Cirrhosis (some liver cells become engorged with fat and protein, impeding their
function; some cells die- triggering the inflammatory process) of the liver is caused
by prolonged alcohol use with reduced protein
Damage to the endocrine glands and pancreases, heart failure, hypertension, stroke,
and capillary haemorrhages, which are responsible for the swelling and redness in
the face (nose)
Prolonged use of alcohol appears to destroy brain cells
Reduces effectiveness of the immune system and increases susceptibility to infection
and cancer
Women’s risk of breast cancer increases steadily with drinking
Heavy alcohol during pregnancy causes mental retardation (the growth of the fetus
is slowed, and cranial ,facial and limb abnormality are produced) -- fetal alcohol
syndrome
Some say that light amounts of alcohol may actually have its physiological gains but
it’s still a controversy
Inhalant use Disorders
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