Week 4. Neurotransmitter systems

This week we dove deep into the neurotransmitter system and its wonders. The topic was extremely interesting and was presented with clinical examples from for example disorders of the neurotransmitter system, such as in depression. We were able to learn about the role of neurotransmitters in depression and some types of addictions. Also, the videos from YouTube were quite entertaining and helped us to understand the material better. It is amazing that people have figured out these systems and developed drugs among other things to alleviate symptoms of so many disturbances in the neurotransmitter system.

During the lecture, we got familiar with such neurotransmitters as acetylcholine (ACh), norepinephrine (NE), dopamine, serotonin, glutamate (Glu), GABA, ATP, and Adenosine. There are way more different neurotransmitters and all of them have their own peculiarities. Neurotransmitters are synthesized (small-molecule neurotransmitters) within presynaptic terminals and in the cell body and then taken to be stored in synaptic vesicles, after which they are released into the synaptic cleft and activate the receptors of another neuron. After the activation of another neuron, the neurotransmitter goes back from the synaptic cleft to the pre-synaptic terminal. Neurotransmitters play an important role in the human brain and lack of them can cause different disorders, for example, such mental disorders as depression, anxiety and some other neurodegenerative disorders. It Is noteworthy that for example acetylcholine can either have excitatory or inhibitory effect on the postsynaptic cell depending on whether that cell has a nicotinic or muscarinic receptor. Also, second messenger cascades can be inhibitory or excitatory

It was really a pleasure to read chapter 6 this week and even read more from other articles and sources. Also, this week we were supposed to attend a real-live workshop on neuroanatomy, but unfortunately, it was postponed. We are really looking forward to it.