PSYB65H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Neurotransmitter Receptor, Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor, Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate

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18 Nov 2012
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Lecture 7
- largest numbers of patients in psych wards are alcoholics/drug addicts
Classification overview
Prescription drugs: prescribed by a physician; drugs that require a prescription legally varies b/w countries
Over-the-counter drugs: can buy at a drugstore w/o a prescription
Social drugs: not obtained by prescription or drugstore, eg alcohol, caffeine
Non-commercial: drugs not produced commercially or not produced commercially for their psychoactive effect, eg
marijuana, airplane glue
Tolerance
Tolerance: if taken repeatedly, there is a decreasing effect for the drug
- when taking a drug (eg stimulant), excess of neurotransmitter would be released and hit the receptors on the post-
synaptic neuron
=> as there is an excess of stimulant, there is a plastic response of the post synaptic receptor to reduce the number or
sensitivity of the receptors
=> compensating for over-activation induced by the drug – neuron won’t fire as often due to its own feedback loop
- over time taking the same amount of drug, receptors in the brain diminish (developing a tolerance)
=> taking the same amount of drugs, person doesn’t get as high
- in a depressant the activity of the drug diminishes functional activity of the post-synaptic cell
=> increase in the number or sensitivity of the post-synaptic receptor
Withdrawal
Withdrawal: condition of exactly the opposite of the drug response
- due to tolerance, drug addicts develop withdrawal responses => can never take a person off the drug quickly, especially
depressants
- brain has adjusted itself to the fewer receptors (in a stimulant situation)
- normal levels of activity are a lot lower then with the stimulant
- post-synaptic cell w few receptors will be under-stimulated under normal levels of stimulation
- person goes through depression bc too little stimulation
- in a depression, withdrawal is overstimulation of the brain
- withdrawal from stimulants isn’t life threatening – depression, tiredness, sleep
=> results in hyper-stimulation – shaking, seizures (brain over activity); potentially life-threatening depending on severity
=> when taking off depressant, substitute for another depressant and then slowly take off that depressant
Addiction
Psychological addiction: behavioural dependence; person likes the drug
Physical addiction: physical withdrawal symptoms when the drug is removed from the system; measureable physical
indication
- generally the more rapid the effect of the drug, the more addictive the drug is
Stimulants
- all cause an arousal in cortical EEG and inhibit sleep
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