Neurochemistry & Psychopharmacology (Lecture Notes) Essay

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acetylcholine
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synthesis: enzyme + choline acetyltransferase, acetylcholenzyme A+choline+acetyltransferases breakdown: acetylcholinesterase breaks it back down receptors: nicotinic receptors – bound by nicotine, found in brain and muscle cells muscarinic receptors – bound by muscarine
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neurochemicals
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neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, neuro-hormones, neuromodulators
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neurotransmitters
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chemical signals that are used to talk from one neuron to (commonly) another neuron
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neuropeptides
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short sequences of amino acids
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neuro-hormones
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released from neurons into the blood stream
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neuromodulators
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influence signaling at a synapse, not direct communication
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small molecule neurotransmitters
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acetylcholine, catecholamine, serotonin
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catecholamine examples
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dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine
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catecholamine synthesis
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L-Tyrosine turned into L-DOPA using tyrosine hydroxyl L-DOPA turned into dopamine by DOPA decarboxylase dopamine turned into norepinephrine norepinephrine to epinephrine by DNMT reuptake transporters pulls dopamine back into cell
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catecholamine breakdown
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MAO (manoamine oxidase) and COMT (catechol-o-methyltransferase)
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catecholamine drug interactions
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stimulant drugs (cocaine, meth) antipsychotics (D2-antagonists) antidepressants (MAOI’s, tricyclic antidepressants, SNRI’s)
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serotonin synthesis
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starts with L-tryptophan, turns into 5-hydroxytryptophan (5HT) by tryptophan hydroxylase
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serotonin receptors
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5HT1-5HT8, 18 total, all metabotropic except 5HT3 (ionotropic)
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serotonin breakdown and metabolism/reuptake
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breakdown by MAO metabolism/reuptake by SERT (serotonin reuptake transporter)
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serotonin drug interactions
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MDMA, hallucinogens, antidepressants
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amino acid neurotransmitters – excitatory
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glutamate and aspartate
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glutamate
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primary a.a. nt’s ionotropic receptors: NMDA, AMPA, kainate metabotropic receptors: mGluR1-mGluR8 drugs: caffeine, PCP, MSG, astrocytes pull glutamate out of synapse
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amino acid neurotransmitters – inhibitory
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GABA and glycine
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GABA synthesis
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made and conserved in pathway GABA shunt glutamate turns into GABA using glutamic acid decarboxylase
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GABA reuptake/breakdown
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GABA broken down into smaller components by GABA transaminase, recycled in GABA shunt
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GABA receptors
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GABA-A, possess specific binding sites
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GABA drug interactions
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barbituates
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glycine
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tetanus, pesticide form can cause seizures, drug interaction is strychnine
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neuropeptides/neuro-hormones
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endogenous opioids, hypothalamus
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endogenous opioids
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made by the body, shorter strands of a.a., cleaved from propeptides (longer peptides) endorphins: synthesized by pro-pomc enkephalin: synthesized by proenkephalin dynorphins: synthesized by prodynorphin receptors: bind to mu, kappa, & delta receptors drugs: opiate/opiod drugs, exogenous
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hypothalamus
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released into bloodstream from posterior pituitary oxytocin & vasopressin (AVP)
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oxytocin
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start of labor, causes milk let down in nursing mothers, “love hormone”
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vasopressin (AVP)
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causes kidneys to conserve water, antidiuretic hormone, may cause social voidance
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stress neurochemistry
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sympathetic nervous system, fight or flight, HPA axis, system designed to be short-lived, should turn itself off
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HPA axis
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hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal gland hypothalamus releases CRH causes anterior pituitary to release ACTH causes adrenal gland to release cortisol (cortisol mobilizes energy, helps fight off infection)
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other areas for stress neurochemistry
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hippocampus: has glucocorticoids, change neurons in structure & function when constantly activated amygdala: attuned to processing fear responses, SNS & HPA axis locus coeruleus: brain cells in brain stem, alertness/awareness
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agonists
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can activate a receptor although NOT a hormone or neurotransmitter
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antagonist
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inhibits activation of a receptor, blocks a hormone or neurotransmitter
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affinity
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how well something is bonded to a receptor
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efficacy
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how well it activates a receptor
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psychopharmacology
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affect mood, thinking, behavior psychoactive drugs pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics
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pharmacokinetics
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movement of a drug through the body route of administration: how it gets into the system absorption: process of getting into the bloodstream, best to be lipid soluble distribution: disbursement throughout the body, depot binding (hinders distribution, have an affinity for fat cells) biotransformation: metabolism of the drug in liver excretion: kidneys/urine, waste, saliva, breast milk
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pharmacodynamics
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the effect of a drug at the target tissue, agonist vs antagonist, pharmacodynamics tolerance (change in the neuron)

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