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CHEM 1004 (13)
Chapter 5

Chapter 5

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CHEM 1004
Gerald Buchanan

Chapter 5 - Drugs at the Synapse ● Synapse - The free space between neurons. Two Types: ○ Sensory - Information Gathering ○ Motor Neurons - Involved in movement or muscle activity ● At the synapse neurotransmitters are released from the end of one neuron into the free space, they diffuse across and bind to the receptor site (structure specific; lock and key).This causes a signal to be produced and a physiological effect ● Composition of Neurons: ○ Dendrites - Collect information ○ Cell Body - Processes it ○ Axons - Conduct the impulse to the next cell. (Nerve impulses only move in one direction) ● Ganglions - Collections of nerve cells and synapses concentrated in one location for easy interconnection and crossover ○ Preganglionic fibres lead up to the ganglion and postganglionic nerve fibres lead impulses away from the ganglion ● Transmissions are terminated when there is an enzymatic reaction of the transmitter molecule or with the expenditure of energy to release it from its binding point ● 6 Important neurotransmitters: = 2 really important ○ Acetylcholine - The transmitter in nerves that slow the heart, control the use of voluntary muscles, constrict involuntary muscle, and keep central nervous system working ■ Does not circulate in blood and is preganglionic ○ Epinephrine (adrenaline) and Norepinephrine - Both neurotransmitters but epinephrine is effective at lower concentrations ■ Norepinephrine (noradrenaline) - Released to stimulate heart contractions. It is a very powerful stimulant which increases heart rate and blood flow. It is postganglionic and opposite to acetylcholine ■ Receptors - Alpha ease breathing and beta cause an increase in heart activity when stimulated ■ “Beta Blockers” - block beta receptors and treat high blood pressure, chest pains, rapid heart rate ○ GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid) - is a major inhibitory transmitter in the brain accounting for ~33% of cerebral transmissions. Many drugs that cause its release act as relaxants, antispasmodics and antianxiety (such as Valium; a tranquilizer) ○ Serotonin - In human blood, brain and GI tract. Release of serotonin results in painkilling, sleepiness and changes in appetite ■ SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake[means Keeps in synapse] Inhibitors) increase th
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