E4 Neurotransmitters and Synapses Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in E4 Neurotransmitters and Synapses Deck (6)
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1

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

2

List three excitatory psychoactive drugs

Cocaine, Amphetamines, Nicotine

3

List three inhibitory psychoactive drugs

Benzodiazepines (BZD), Alcohol, THC

4

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

5

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

6

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

Genetic
• Possible genetic predisposition to addition
Social
• 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