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Unformatted text preview: Chapters 5&7: Neural communication II
I. Neurotransmitters Small molecules
C. Amino acids Peptide Gases
II. Pharmacology of synapses
III. Psychoactive drugs I. Neurotransmitters
A. Acetylcholine (Ach):
linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
choline + acetate → Ach
Ach Two types of Ach receptors:
Nicotinic and muscarinic receptors. B. Monoamines
Catecholamines: dopamine, norepinephrine,
1. Dopamine (DA):
linked to Parkinson’s disease and
Tyrosine → L-DOPA → DA
L-DOPA Five types of DA receptors:
D,D,D,D,D 2. Norepinephrine (NE):
Tyrosine → L-DOPA → DA → NE
L-DOPA Two types of NE receptors:
α, β . 3. Serotonin (5-HT):
involved in the regulation of mood and
Tryptophan → 5-HTP → 5-HT
5-HTP Four types of 5-HT receptors:
5-HT1, 5-HT2, 5-HT3, 5-HT4
5-HT *Overproduction of the monoamines is
prevented by monoamine oxidase (MAO).
prevented C. Amino acid
1. Glutamic acid: the principal excitatory
neurotransmitter in the brain.
neurotransmitter Two classes of receptors:
NMDA and non-NMDA receptors.
1. GABA: an inhibitory neurotransmitter,
implicated in Huntington’s chorea.
implicated Two types of receptors:
GABAa and GABAb receptors. Peptide: short chains of amino acids Gases: Nitric oxide (NO)
Carbon monoxide (CO) II. Pharmacology of synapses
II. Agonists: mimic or increase the effects of
neurotransmitters. Antagonists: block or decrease the effects of
neurotransmitters. Steps in synaptic transmission: Synthesis of neurotransmitter
Storage in synaptic vesicles
Release of neurotransmitter
Activation of receptors
Termination of the postsynaptic effects III. Psychoactive drugs
A. Sedatives: cause relaxation, sedation, or loss
By two mechanisms:
1. Decreasing the metabolic activity of neurons,
2. Increasing the sensitivity of GABAa
e.g., barbiturates, benzodiazepines, alcohol, and
anesthetics which reduce surgical shock.
anesthetics B. Stimulants: stimulate the CNS and activate
e.g., nicotine, amphetamine, and cocaine.
C. Hallucinogens: modify perception, produce
e.g., LSD, PCP and THC. D. Psychotherapeutic drugs:
1. Antischizophrenic drugs: block DA
2. Antidepressant drugs: act as monoamine
E. Narcotic analgesic drugs: reduce pain and are
e.g., opium, heroin, morphine, codeine, and
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This note was uploaded on 05/25/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 492 taught by Professor Xu during the Fall '10 term at Grand Valley State University.
- Fall '10