thoughts about week 3
During this week I learned a lot about neurotransmitters and a numerous chemical reactions in synapses. The number of different systems doing on principal one same thing: delivering signals between neurons is confusing and I am still not quite sure why all these different methods. But I think detailed understanding of basic principles will help. For example the endocannabinoids is an example of something that works in totally unexpected way i.e. in reverse order: from post to per-synaptic side. The modern technology also helped to find it in kind of reverse order i.e. first the receptors and only after that the transmitter.
Even though the complexity and details of each of these different neurotransmitter systems are impressive I am looking forward to learn how these things combine to the big picture. I find it interesting that enzymes such as dopamine, epinephrine and serotonin operate as neurotransmitters while they also regulate sleep cycles mood and other vital body functions. This also brings up a question about drugs, medicine and food we consume to treat some symptoms, when the same molecules work in several task in our body, how to distinguish where the effects happen? I think this might be one motivation to recognize different indicator molecules of different synaptic types. Indicators can be used to locate where specific transmitters function and that way help us to locate where selective inhibitors or exitatory molecules affects. Then the effects of inhibitor or exitatory substances might then be more predictable?
I am looking forward to next weeks brain anatomy workshop about exercise 2!