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Neurons, Neurotransmitters and Disease

1. Describe Neurotransmitter in terms of what they are, their general function within the body, and their impact on behavior.

2. Discuss the connection between neurons and neurotransmitters.

3. Pick two neurotransmitters and discuss their general functions in our bodies. also discuss each neurotransmitter connection with disease and disorders. Does a neurotransmitter problem cause the disease, or does the disease cause a neurotransmitter Problem? in other words, what might be the relationship between transmitter function or effectiveness and a particular disease or disorder?

Thank you.

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Hi,

Interesting question! Let's take a closer look.

RESPONSE:

1. Describe Neurotransmitter in terms of what they are, their general function within the body, and their impact on behavior.

A Neurotransmitter is a "chemical that is released from a nerve cell which thereby transmits an impulse from a nerve cell to another nerve, muscle, organ, or other tissue." (http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=9973). They are also found at the axon endings of motor neurons, where they stimulate the muscle fibers to contract. And they and their close relatives are produced by some glands such as the pituitary and the adrenal glands (see further detail at http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/genpsyneurotransmitters.html).

A neurotransmitter functions as a messenger of neurological information from one cell to another. These nerve cells process and transmit information from one part of the body to another. Specifically, if you step on a nail, pain nerves (receptors) send a message up through your foot and leg to the spinal cord and to the brain. The brain records PAIN and sends messages by releasing neurotransmitters back down to various parts of the body. Behavior occurs. For example, the mouth cries, "OUCH!", the leg, foot and body jerk away from the nail, and the foot hurts. This all happens in milliseconds. (http://bipolar.about.com/od/brainchemistry/g/gl_neuron.htm).There are both excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters (see http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2001/neuron.html).

Nerve cells can form many synapses at the ...

Solution Summary

This solution describes neurotransmitter in terms of what they are, their general function within the body, and their impact on behavior. It also discusses the connection between neurons and neurotransmitters. Then, two neurotransmitters are discussed in terms of their general functions in the body; how each neurotransmitter is connected with disease and disorders e.g. if a neurotransmitter problem causes the disease, or if the disease causes a neurotransmitter problem; and the relationship between transmitter function or effectiveness and a particular disease or disorder.

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