Neurotransmitter systems and neurodegenerative diseases

general: This week’s lecture was about neurotransmitter systems, pathways in the brain for different neurotransmitters, hormones, and their effects, and some neurodegenerative diseases. We also had a BABA (baby brain activity) excursion, which was very interesting. Scientists in the BABA center research baby/infant brain activity using different methods for example EEG, eye tracking, smart jumpsuits (MAIJU), and many more.

PM: I liked This week’s lecture a lot because the topic of neurotransmitters was somewhat familiar from the earlier lectures. What made the lecture feel much lighter was the videos, which we were shown in between the slides. I didn’t have time to read the book chapter so some of the concepts were completely new to me. What stuck to my mind about this lecture was how neurotransmitter systems are affected in neurodegenerative diseases. Also in Parkinson’s disease the cells in the brain that produce dopamine die which initiates the disease. I was thinking about this in my DNA nanotechnology class and one question came to my mind. Would it be possible to artificially create/replicate these cells with DNA nanotechnology and place them in the brain? This is a really far-fetched question as DNA nanotechnology isn’t nearly that advanced yet, but it is interesting to think about.

 

TL: The weeks lecture was very informative on the effect of hormones on our nervous system and decision making. Lecture also brought up the possible mechanisms of addiction. Although, as I understood, it is not perfectly clear how addiction is formed, it can be traced to reward system of our brain. If a substance or act has a possibility on invoking our nervous system, it can possibly cause addiction.

The BABA excursion was interesting in particular since it introduced methods to measure a development of a baby non-intrusively. The ability to follow movements and get brain diagnostics 24/7 is great for early diagnostic of possible problematic conditions in the child.