On this week’s lecture we continued the subject “Neurotransmitter systems” and learned about the different pathways for acetylcholine, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. We also got to hear about the basics of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Alzheimer’s is a common disease and it was interesting to hear what actually causes it. Today there are only treatments that slow down the process, but no cure exists on the market. The Alzheimer’s association (www.alz.org) writes that the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older, but the disease can also have an earlier onset. The first symptom of Alzheimer’s is that the person has problems remembering newly learned things and on the lecture we also learned that acetylcholine (ACh) cell death is linked as an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder, which still also exists without a cure. Parkinson’s disease occurs as neurons producing dopamine die, which results in that the brain having problem controlling movements and coordination.
As an exercise we got to write about some drug or disease that alters the function of the central nervous system. It will be interesting to start writing and learn more about some specific drug or disease.