Lecture on October 24th: Drug Classes (Cont.) and Early Neural Development

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Psychology & Brain Sciences
Lori Astheimer Best

Behavioral Neuroscience, Lecture on October 24 th Cannabinoids: Marijuana is derived from cannabis sativa -it's active ingredient is THC.  over eighty-five known cannabinoids. Receptors, CB1 - nervous system CB2 - immune system *both metabotropic and produce neuromodulatory effects. Effects vary, Include relaxation, mood alteration, stimulation, hallucination and paranoia. Endogenous cannabinoids - example, anandamide Nicotine: Stimulant - derived from the tobacco leaf. Receptors, Acetylcholine. Typically found in the neuromuscular junctions but also found in the CNS - specifically "reward centers" such as ventral tegmental areas. (Part of dopaminergic pathways). Effects, Increased heart rate and blood pressure, secretion of hydrochloric acid in stomach which produces a pleasurable experience. Cocaine:  Derived from the coca shrub.  Cocaine is the purified extract from the coca leaves.  Crack is the smokeable version and enters the blood/brain faster.  Passes straight through the blood-brain barrier.  Blocks the reuptake of monoamine transporters, especially dopamine. o can also block sodium channels. So it can also be used as a local anesthetic. *Cocaine overdose is typically caused by the blocking of sodium channels stopping your heart beat - cardiac arrest. Effects: Highly addictive, increases endurance because it affects epinephrine and norepinephrine. *Drugs that affect dopamine pathways are going to be addictive. Amphetamine: Catecholamine agonists, Increase the release of norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine.  sympathetic nervous system activation (activation of "fight or flight response). Blocks catecholamine reuptake. Alternate target for MAOs. Increasing the level of these transmitters in the synapse. Acute effects, Increased vigor, wakefulness and euphoria. Chronic effects, Compulsive behavior and paranoia. *Physical effects due to suppression of appetite, inhibition of salivation, constriction of blood vessels, and oppressive skin picking/teeth grinding. Hallucinogens: Diverse class of drugs that includes LSD, psilocybin and muscarine (mushrooms), mescaline (peyote), salvia and DMT.  alter sensory experiences. Affect many systems such as acetylcholine, serotonin and opioid. LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, DMT: serotonin agonists.  bind to 5-HT(2A) receptors in visual cortex.  reduced prefrontal cortex in activity: uninhibited limbic systems. Evidence for endogenous DMT.  natural function unknown. Ecstasy:  Extracted from the sassafras plant.  Otherwise known as MDMA.  Hallucinogenic-amphetamine derivative.  Increases the release of serotonin, stimulates 5HT2A receptors, and changes l
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