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Ted Petit (310)
Lecture 8

Lecture 8

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Ted Petit

Lecture 8: Brain and Behaviors Depressants Also known as sedative hypnotics. By definition it means that it causes the cortex to go into a more relaxed state. There are three major categorizes for depressants: o The barbiturates: Can work in different ways. The primary way is through GABA.GABA is the primary inhibitory amino acid transmitter. Barbiturates bind together receptors. That is the primary mechanism of action. It lowers brain excitability. Almost all of these are also synergistic with each other. For drugs to be synergistic means that they have to work in very similar mechanisms and that they can add to each other or they can cancel each other out. By canceling each other out meaning canceling out the withdrawal effects of each other. Synergistic means that they are very similar in their mechanism of action. For example: barbiturates and alcohol add other very quickly. And some people use it to imply (more than adds it actually multiplies) the effect. Therefore a lot of people die because they take barbiturates and alcohol together. Because barbiturates are synergistic is becomes very lethal. Well most of these will prevent the withdrawal effects of the other ones. Whenever we put someone in the hospital for alcohol, we put them on valium (is another depressant), so they can be behaviorally treated first. However, taking a person off of alcohol cold turkey, would make the brain go in hypertension, therefore increase the chances of getting seizures. *Main point these are synergistic, meaning that they can work to cancel the withdrawal affects of the two drugs or add to the withdrawal effects of the two drugs. Barbiturates are prescribed normally for sleep induction or to induce sleep. Typically they are used most commonly in elderly individuals. Because as you go through lifespan maturation, sleep wakeful cycles get disturbed in people as they get older. Therefore they would have a lot of trouble sleeping. Therefore, they tend to wake up a lot at night. And this is the most common use for barbiturates, is to help the elderly sleep. So if there is an abuse of this drug, its mostly done by elderly people. The problem is that when people are barbiturates, people dont go through REM sleep, sleep involving rapid eye movements as well as dreaming. Barbiturates, they do induce sleep however they reduce the amount of time in REM sleep. Often the person is still tired or not quite right,
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