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Class 3. The Functioning Brain.docx

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Brenda Baird

The Functioning Brain: Neurons & Neurological Communication THE NERVOUS SYSTEM CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM Difference: - A neuron is a brain cell - A nerve is a collection of axons THE STRUCTURE OF THE NEURON MAJOR NEURONS From CNS to Body is Efferent (motor), from Body to CNS is Afferent (sensory) NEURAL TRANSMISSON (SYNAPSE) FIRING A NEURON 1. -70mv, the neuron fires around -55mv 2. +Na Enters (sodium), charge is reduced 3. +K (potassium) exits 4. Threshold restored - Resting potential - Action potential - Myelin Sheath THE ACTION POTENTIAL Ion channels: (open/close) and ion transporters regulate (pump) the number of ions inside and outside the axon REUPTAKE Neurotransmitters in the synapse are reabsorbed into the sending neurons through the process of reuptake. This process applies the brakes on neurotransmitter action. NEUROTRANSMITTER Amino Acids (smallest) – Glutamate – fires rapidly (excitatory, epilepsy) – GABA – relaxes you (Gamma-amino Butyric Acid) (inhibitory) Peptides (slightly larger) – Enkephalins (endorphins, natural opiates) Systems – Acetylcholine (attention, learning & memory muscles; AD) – Dopamine (movement, pleasure, Schizophrenia; PD) – Norepinephrine (alertness, panic) – Serotonin (mood, depression, common disorders) NEUROTRANSMITTERS & DRUGS Specific neurotransmitters work at specific synapses – Lock and key mechanism - Agonist: mimics neurotransmitter action - Antagonist: opposes action of a neurotransmitter (blocks neurotransmitter from firing) - 15 – 20 neurotransmitters known at present - Interactions between neurotransmitter circuits EFFECT OF DRUGS ON SYNAPTIC TRANSMISSION THE BRAIN MEASURING BRAIN ACTIVITY - Electroencephalography (EEG) - Computerized Tomography (CT) - Positron Emission Tomography (PET) - Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) EXAMPLES OF EEG RECORDINGS EEG – reaction, firing of the action potential METHODS - CT (computed tomography) Scan
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