Pondering the topics


Welcome back to our blog reviewing our group’s latest thoughts. This week’s lecture was all about neurotransmitter systems, of which we already discussed with the group last week. The week’s chapter of the coursebook was about chemical control of the brain and behaviour, and in our opinion the chapter was interesting. Especially the extra information boxes were intriguing and they gave information which motivated to read the chapter itself with even more attention. The chapter also presented numerous new names of enzymes and other terms, which we thought were confusing since we had hard time recognizing the essential ones. However, we are sure that after tomorrow’s lecture we will be more familiar with the terms. With this chapter, last week’s studies of identifying the brain’s parts turned already out very convenient since now we were on the ball when some parts appeared in the text.

In the chapter there was some discussion about hallucinogens and stimulants as drugs. In our online group meeting this subject lead to many questions. We knew that an overdose of cocaine may lead to heart failure and since cocaine is a stimulant, the heart will first pump rapidly and then it will fail. What we would like to know is what is the thing that causes the failure? What happens between the heart pumping rapidly and then suddenly failing? Also, how can the overdosing person having a hear failure be resuscitated: How is it possible to stimulate when there is already too much stimulant in the blood? Wondering the questions gave our group even more questions. For example, how does the death actually happen and what happens in the brain after an overdose?

From chapter 8 studied earlier, we  already knew that for example for cocaine the olfactory system is quite a fast route to the brain. What we wonder is why the same route isn’t more utilized? What are the injurious effects of taking drugs that way and are the effects same for all the drugs? What if the effects could be treated before they occur? For example, why paracetamol cannot be dissolved into nasal spray with some moisturizing compound? We also wondered how the fast painkillers, oral solutions etc., operate.

As you might guess, in our opinion the group discussing sessions have been fruitful when it comes to pondering. See you again in a week!

Posted by Sara S.

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