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The Function of Neurotransmitters

Neurotransmitters play a vital role in both our minds and bodies. Considering this, please respond to the following items:

- Describe neurotransmitters in terms of what they are, their general function within the body, and their impact on behavior.
- Pick one neurotransmitter and discuss the effect it has on our bodies; particularly in connection with disease.

Once you have discussed a specific disease associated with neurotransmitter imbalance, describe the treatment options available as well as identify an individual associated with the disease. For example, Michael J. Fox's battle with Parkinson's disease. Also, discuss the importance of biology for understanding behavior.

Solution Preview

Neurotransmitter Response

Neurotransmitters (NT) are very important in the brain and in the body, without them there would be no transfer of information between cells. The brain works by using electrochemical transmission… the “chemical” aspect is a NT which sends a signal from the presynaptic terminal to the receptors on the postsynaptic terminal. This is the beginning of the “electrical” aspect, an action potential.

NT's are the main method of information transfer from neuron to neuron in the brain. Physically, they are small chemical molecules that act as a key. These keys fit into a specific lock, the receptor. Each NT has its own specific set of receptors, usually there are several sub-types which creates diversity of action and complexity of behavior. For example, dopamine (DA) has two ...

Solution Summary

This solution is comprised of a 520 word response which tries to provide some general background on neurotransmitters, what they are, and how they work in the brain. In addition, how neurotransmitters act to create or modulate behavior is discussed and examples are given. Neurotransmitters in general and some examples of specific neurotransmitter (e.g. dopamine) activity are also discussed.

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