Lecture Week 3 - This week(Week Three The Nervous System...

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This week (Week Three): The Nervous System The Actions of Drugs
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Objectives Understand how psychoactive drugs alter communication among the billions of cells in the human brain. Explain homeostasis. Know general properties of glia and neurons. Describe the roles of the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system and associated neurotransmitters.
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Objectives (cont.) Identify the major neurotransmitter types (GABA, serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, etc.) and associate them with key brain structures. Give examples of a drug that alters neurotransmitter availability and of a drug that interacts with neurotransmitter receptors.
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(cont.) Distinguish between generic, brand, and chemical names for a drug. Describe the typical effects of drugs in each of six categories. Define and explain dose-response relationship, ED 50, LD 50, and therapeutic index. Understand the difference between effectiveness and potency.
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(cont.) Explain relationship between lipid solubility and ability to pass through the blood-brain barrier. Compare/contrast routes of administration. Describe ways psychoactive drugs interact with neurons to produce effects in the brain. Explain how homeostasis effects pharmacodynamic tolerance and withdrawal.
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Components of the Nervous System Glial Cells – The “silent workers.” These cells provide structure and bring in food, eliminating waste and forming the myelin. Myelin is the structure wrapped around the axons and some neurons and forms the meyelin sheath. Glia also form the semi-permeable blood- brain barrier
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Components of the Brain (cont.) Neurons – analyze and transmit information. Fig. 4.1 (page 83) depicts the major structures: Cell body Dendrites (*contain receptors) Axon Presynaptic Terminals (*contain vesicles)
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How do cells communicate? Action potential – a brief electrical signal transmitted down a neuron’s axon. At rest the cell has a voltage of about -65mV (This is known as the resting potential. ) When sodium ions (Na+) cross the cell membrane, the cell becomes MORE positively charged on the inside (depolarization)
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Cell communication (cont.) When the cell is depolarized, the action potential (the electrical signal) travels down the axon to the presynaptic terminals. The presynaptic terminals store neurotransmitters in vesicles. When the electric signal reaches the vesicles, the vesicles release neurotransmitters into the presynaptic cleft (the space between neurons).
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So what do drugs do? Some drugs prevent Na+ channels from opening, hence preventing action potential Some drugs open Na+ channels, hence creating additional action potential than normally found in the cell.
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Somatic Nervous System – interacts with the external environment Carries sensory information to the central nervous system and carries motor/movement information back out. The neurotransmitter is Acetylcholine,
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This note was uploaded on 04/28/2008 for the course SOC WK 453 taught by Professor Mosher-garvey during the Spring '08 term at University of Wisconsin.

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Lecture Week 3 - This week(Week Three The Nervous System...

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