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Chapter 4

Chapter 4 Notes on Drugs

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Steve Joordens

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Drugs and Behaviour most synaptic communication is accomplished by Glutamate (excitatory most important in brain + spinal) & GABA (inhibitory) neurotransmitters neurotransmitters other than Glutamate & GABA activate or inhibit entire circuits of neurons that are involved in particular brain functions: facilitation of learning, control of wakefulness, vigilance, suppression of impulsive behaviour, & suppression or enhancement of anxiety Glutamate all sensory organs transmit info to brain through release of glutamate, EXCEPT for neurons that detect pain stimuli NMDA receptor: critical role in effects of environmental stimulation on developing brain & responsible for many changes in synaptic connections for learning NMDA deactivated by alcohol, thus binge drinkers have no memory GABA some drugs depress behaviour, causing relaxation, sedation, or loss of consciousness these drugs act on GABA receptor, incr sensitivy to neurotransmitter Barbiturates: causes sedation; derivative of barbituric acid -low doses=calming effect, higher doses=difficulty in walking & talking, unconsioucness, coma & death most common depressant drug: ethyl alcohol Anti-anxiety drug: members of benzodiazepines, A tranquilizer, which reduces anxiety Benzodiazepine: a class of drug having anxiolytic (tranquilizing) effects, such as diazepam (valium) act on GABA receptor, regions in brain including fear & anxiety benzodiazepines are safer than barbiturates some serve as sleep meds Acetylcholine (Ach): neurotransmitter found in brain, spinal cord, & pts of peripheral nervous system; responsible for muscular contraction ppl with myasthenia gravis have immune systems that attack Ach receptors axons & terminal buttons of Ach neurons are distributed widely throughout the brain www.notesolution.com
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