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Neurochemistry Questions And Answers Essay

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Understanding neurotransmitter function will help you
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be aware of how drugs affect a patient’s nervous system
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Neurotransmitters are synthesized in the
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neuron – peptides made in cell body – others assembled in button
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Neurotransmitters are stored in
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the vesicles
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Neurotransmitters are released by
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voltage gated calcium-mediated exocytosis
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Neurotransmitters are activated on the
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receptor of the postsynaptic cell
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Removal of neurotransmitters from synaptic cleft
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1. taken up by glia cell and/or presynaptic neuron 2. degraded in synaptic cleft (ACh)
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Aspartate and Glutamate
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classified as an excitatory neurotransmitter
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GABA and Glycine
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classified as an inhibitory neurotransmitter
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Substance P and endorphins
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classified as a peptide neurotransmitter
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Epinephrine, dopamine, and norepinephrine
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classified as a catecholamine; Not acetylcholine
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Made primarily in brainstem substantia nigra
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dopamine
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Made by motor neurons
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acetylcholine
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Increased release induces epilepsy
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glutamate and aspartate
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Decreased release results in depression
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serotonin and norepinephrine
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Activation of receptor causes sedation
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GABA and glycine
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Reduced activity cause muscle weakness or paralysis
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acetylcholine
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Transmits pain sensation from periphery
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substance P
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Increased activity involved in schizophrenia
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dopamine
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Increased activity produces mania
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norepinephrine
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Plays a role in attention/alertness and learning/memory
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acetylcholine
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Valium and barbiturates bind this receptor
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GABA
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Neurotransmitter is degraded in synaptic cleft
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acetylcholine
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Death of substantia nigra neurons that make dopamine
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Parkinson’s disease
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Death of forebrain neurons that make acetylcholine
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Alzheimer’s disease
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Death of motor neurons due to glutamate neurotoxicity
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ALS/Lou Gehrig’s
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Autoimmune destruction of acetylcholine receptors causing muscle weakness
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Myasthenia gravis
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Post synaptic response due to excitatory neurotransmitter binding-
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– increase probability of neurotransmitter release by causing an excitatory post-synaptice potential (EPSP) due to Na entry into the post synaptic neuron
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Post synaptic response due to inhibitory neurotransmitter binding-
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– decrease probability of neurotransmitter release by causing an inhibitory post-synaptic potential (IPSP) due to Cl- entry or K+ exit through post synaptic neuron
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Ionotropic Receptors-
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– allows ions to DIRECTLY enter the post-synaptic receptor; cause more rapid effect in post-synaptic neuron
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Second-Messenger Mediated Receptors-
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– INDIRECTLY cause ion entry through a second receptor
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Why is it difficult to alter neurotransmitter levels without having significant side effects?
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If Parkinson’s patients take too much “L-Dopa” (dopamine) they can show signs of schizophrenia and if schizophrenia patients don’t take their meds (decreased dopamine) they can have Parkinson’s like tremors
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Whys is it so difficult to diagnose depression?
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– Stigma associated – Physicians need to ask RIGHT questions and get to know patient – Symptoms vary from person to person
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Why is it so difficult to treat depression?
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Multiple neurotransmitters play a role in emotional control
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Decreased levels of serotonin, noradrenalin, and dopamine
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signs of depression
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Decreased levels of serotonin
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takes time for drugs to take place
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Decreased levels noradrenalin
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serotonin re-uptake inhibitor will NOT improve
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If a depressed patient stops taking medications they become…
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suicidal due to less neurotransmitters and receptors
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Limbic System
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“emotional brain”
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Adding neurotransmitters
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activate ALL receptors
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Drugs that block neurotransmitters
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subtype leads to a bit more specificity, all brain region will be effected
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Loss of function in the enzyme acetylcholinesterase would result in which of the following?
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Inability to destroy and remove acetylcholine from synaptic cleft
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When a neurotransmitter like GABA is acting in an inhibitory manner which of the following is likely a result of GABA acting on the post-synaptic cell?
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Hyper polarization of the post-synaptic cell membrane
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The effect of acetylcholine can be stimulating or inhibiting. Which of the following gives the best explanation for why this is so?
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Different post-synaptic cells will have different receptors
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Which of the following neurotransmitters inhibits pain and is mimicked by morphine, heroin, and methadone?
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Endorphin
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Endogenous Opiods
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ex. endorphines (peptide neurotransmitter)
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Symptoms of Major Depression
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– depressed mood most of the day – diminished interest or pleasure in activities most of the day
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Depression
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biochemical changes in the brain
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Endocannabinoids (marijuana)
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regulate feeding