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Class 2 Psychopharmacology

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PSY 215
Amelia Usher

Jan 20/2014 Psychopharmacology *Check out ASAPScience on Youtube for better explanations* Neuron Communication - The dendrite receives information or an action potential from other dendrites through its synapses and the axon terminal sends information to other axons through their own dendrites - Different neurons speak different neural languages and neurotransmitters are what help to form a connection between the axons. The communication occurs in the presynaptic terminals who send their neurotransmitters to pass through the synaptic cleft where it is then received by receptors at the postsynaptic terminals of an axon - A particular neurotransmitter will pass through specific ion channels (receptors) to the postsynaptic terminals How do neurotransmitters work? - It is the chemical that transmits messages from one part of your CNS to another. It can have an excitatory or inhibitory effect; excitatory is where a message is sent out while inhibitory slows down (stopping) a message from being sent to one neuron to another - Reuptake: when the neurotransmitters are released into the synaptic cleft the message is activated but then the presynaptic terminal sucks up the rest of the neurotransmitters so they are inactivated What is the impact of drugs on neurotransmitters? Agonistic Effects: a drug that enhances the effect of the neurotransmitter through 3 ways: -drugs enter receptor sites of other neurons before actual neurotransmitters get to the receptors - preventing reuptake from happening so drugs stay in the synaptic cleft and keep having the same effect again and again - more neurotransmitters being produced so message is being sent faster ie) Cocaine: alters dopamine receptors Antagonist effects: prevents message from being sent: - no NTs (neurotransmitter) are being released into the synaptic cleft - presynaptic terminal releases NTs but postsynaptic terminals do not receive the NTs - NTs are leaked out through the process of the axon potential (from the axon terminal through myelin sheath) that by the time the NTs reach the presynaptic terminal to release, there are very little or none of them to do so Major Neurotransmitters • GABA • Serotonin: mood regulation, sensory perception • Dopamine: in addiction, triggers punish and reward (pleasure) center in our brain • Glutamate • Acetylcholine: nicotine, movement, memory, functioning • Norepinephrine • Endorphin: pain reception (important for opioids drugs) - Nervous system, NTs and Drugs are like triads; they all affect each other and work together to a certain effect. Drugs can be agonist or antagonist and NTs are inhibitory or excitatory. ie) When cocaine (agonist) and dopamine interact with one another (blocks dopamine receptor and dopamine accumulates in the synaptic cleft thus creating a euphoria where one is more talkative and awake), the message that is passing through an axon terminal is passed faster thus having a quicker effect on the CNS ie) Glutamate is an excitatory where it spreads messages and is involved with learning and memory processes. Ketamine (antagonist) impacts glutamate where it impairs learning and memory and stops glutamate from releasing. Drug Classifications 1. Opiates/ Narcotic (any opiate derived drug)
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