310_5_notes - Lecture #5 Outline Pharmaceutical Sciences...

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Lecture #5 Outline Pharmaceutical Sciences 310 Introduction to Pharmacology: Drugs and Their Actions Lecture #5: How do brain cells communicate? lecturer: Arash Bashirullah The overall goal of this lecture is to understand how neurons, the smallest functional units of the nervous system, communicate with each other. We will first describe the overall anatomy of the brain and then describe how neurons “talk” to each other through their points of contact (synapses). This material will provide the foundation to understand how drugs can alter brain function. Section I: ANATOMY OF THE BRAIN The nervous system is exquisitely organized into regions, each specialized for particular functions. These functional “domains” are then connected to each other by abundant connections, creating an extremely complex network that ultimately processes all the information required to keep us alive (and happy!). 1.- nervous system The components of the nervous system are divided in two major groups: the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). a) The CNS is composed of the brain and the spinal cord (see below). b) The PNS is composed of neurons that reside outside the CNS and the nerves connecting them to the CNS. The PNS can be further subdivided by function into the somatic nervous system (peripheral neurons and nerves associated with skeletal muscles, skin and sense organs like eyes, ears and tongue) and the autonomic nervous system (peripheral neurons and nerves regulating
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310_5_notes - Lecture #5 Outline Pharmaceutical Sciences...

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