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NEUROTRANSMITTERS IN BRAIN AND THE DISEASES

The control and coordination of all activity in brain relies on SYNAPSES


Synapses depend on NT Imbalances in naturally occurring brain chemicals can cause problems, as can drugs by passing the blood brain barriers

The endothelial cells forming the capillaries in brain are tightly joined --- form a barrier --- protect the brain

There are nearly 50 NT Functions of two are discussed DOPAMINE & SEROTONIN The effects of ECSTASY are used to illustrate how drugs can affect synapses

DOPAMINE & PARKINSONS DISEASE

Dopamine is NT secreted by neurons , located in the midbrain In PD , the neurons that secrete dopamine in the basal ganglia die

SYMPTOMS OF PD
Stiffness of muscles Tremor of the muscles Slowness of movement Poor balance Walking problems Other problems could be difficulty in speech and breathing , depression

TREATMENTS FOR PD

Slowing the loss of dopamine -- by use of selegiline --inhibits Monoamine oxidase which breaks down dopamine Dopamine cannot be given , as it cants cross into brain from blood stream so L- Dopa a precursor can be given can be converted into dopamine , increasing the concentration
Dopamine agonists mimic the role of dopamine Gene therapy research still going on to inject direct proteins

SEROTONIN & DEPRESSION

Serotonin imp for determining a persons mood Neurons that secrete serotonin cover major areas of brain

Lack of serotonin causes Depression

It is multifactorial genetic Environmental factors

TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION

SSRI Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor blocks reuptake of serotonin Prozac maintains high level of Serotonin

HOW DRUGS AFFECT SYNAPTIC TRANSMISSION

Synapses can be disrupted by A chemical that can bind to receptor sites on post synaptic neurone Chemicals prevent the release of NT , block or open ion channels or inhibit a breakdown enzyme

EFFECT OF ECSTASY

Chemical name is MDMA methylene dioxy methyl amphetamine

Ecstasy affect thinking , mood and memory


Can also cause anxiety , altered perceptions ( hallucinations )

HOW ECSTASY AFFECTS SYNAPSES

Increases the concentration of serotonin


This is done by binding to molecules reuptake of serotonin prevents removal from synaptic cleft

Side effects clouded thinking , disturbed behaviour , sweating , dry mouth , increased HR High BP , muscle breakdown , kidney failure etc Long term effects --- insomnia , depression , psychological problems