PSB2000 Drug Actions.docx

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Florida State University
PSB 2000
Stacey Mc Callister

Drug Actions 1. New terms a. Agonist i. Drug that mimics or increases the effects of a neurotransmitter molecule b. Antagonist i. Drug that blocks the effects of a neurotransmitter 2. Drugs of abuse a. Facilitate or inhibit transmission at synapses b. Increase dopamine release in Nucleus Accumbens (NA) 3. Nucleus accumbens and dopamine a. Initial study: looking at electrode and turning (left and right) behaviors b. Later lever press = self stimulation of the brain c. Rats pressed 2000+ times an hour i. Later determined brain region ii. Nucleus accumbens (NAc) iii. Dopamine release (direct or indirect) d. Other reinforcing/pleasurable experiences case DA release in nucleus accumbens (in humans) i. Sexual excitement ii. Gambling iii. Video games iv. Abused drug use 1. Mice: will work for cocaine e. “Wanting” vs. “liking” debate i. Dopamine (in nucleus accumbens) relates to how much you want something, not necessarily how much you like it 1. Ex. Drug addicts 4. Stimulants a. Amphetamine, Ritalin, ecstasy b. More dopamine, especially in NAc c. Nonspecific: more serotonin and NE release d. More excitement, activity, alertness, mood e. Less fatigue 5. Stimulants: Cocaine a. Blocks reuptake of dopamine (serotonin and norepinephrine) b. Binds to DAT (Dopamine transporter) i. Maintains proper dopamine levels by removing excess dopamine from synapse c. End effect is INCREASED dopamine in the synapse – “high” d. Stored dopamine is depleted – “crash” e. Leads to addiction 6. Cocaine: intravenous self-administration a. Rat studies: i. Will bar press for cocaine ii. Add in painful shock and they’ll stop temporarily, but soon will continue regardless 7. Stimulants: Methylphenidate (Ritalin) a. Prescribed for ADD b. Blocks DAT (reuptake) i. ~ cocaine c. Different from cocaine: i. Dose ii. Time course (slow-release) iii. Administration (oral) iv. No sudden high, withdrawal effects, or craving v. If abused it can be like cocaine d. Adderall: similar to Ritalin, but blocks reuptake of both DA and NE 8. Stimulants: MDMA (Ecstasy) a. Low doses
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