E4 Neurotransmitters and Synapses Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in E4 Neurotransmitters and Synapses Deck (6)
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Explain how psychoactive drugs affect the brain and personality

• Psychoactive drugs may either increase postsynaptic transmission (stimulants) or decrease postsynaptic transmissions (depressants)
• Stimulants produce psychomotor arousal and increased alertness, whereas depressants slow down brain activity and relax muscles
• Both act primarily on the CNS and can cause a chemical dependency, leading to substance abuse and addictions


List three excitatory psychoactive drugs

Cocaine, Amphetamines, Nicotine


List three inhibitory psychoactive drugs

Benzodiazepines (BZD), Alcohol, THC


Explain the effects of THC in terms of its effect on synapses in the brain

• Before THC enters the system, neurotransmitters are released into the synapse which inhibit the release of dopamine
• THC mimics the neurotransmitter anandamide by binding to cannaboid receptors, preventing the release of this inhibitory neurotransmitter
• This allows dopamine to be released into the synapse


Explain the effects of Cocaine in terms of its effect on synapses in the brain

• Dopamine transporters remove dopamine from the synaptic clef after they have done their job
• Cocaine blocks, these transporters, leaving dopamine trapped in the synaptic clef
• As a result, dopamine binds repeatedly to the receptors, overstimulating the neuron


Discuss the causes of addiction, including genetic predisposition, social factors and dopamine secretion

• Possible genetic predisposition to addition
• Alcohol problems among family members
• Poor school performance
• Stress
• Having friends who drink
Dopamine and addition
• Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that is associated with pleasure and reward
• Substances with addictive potential stimulate the release of dopamine
• Substance use causes a flood of dopamine, which alters the chemistry of the brain