Week 3 – Synaptic Transmission

I had some difficulties to focus during the lecture this week because of the sound quality during the first half of the lecture so my studies are mostly based on the chapters I read from the book.

This week we focused on different types of synapses and the mechanics related to synaptic transmissions. I have read about synaptic transmissions briefly beforehand but never focused on the subject much. The book explained the concept moderately well and the topic was interesting to read about.

Synaptic transmission means the information transfer at a synapse. They can be chemical or electrical. I learned that the most common neurotransmitters in synaptic transmission are amino acids, amines and peptides. I was surprised to learn that amino acids can be neurotransmitters transmitting a signal across synapses. For me amino acids are monomers that are involved in protein making and that is only context I have discussed about them so far.

Different steps of neurotransmission, beginning from the arrival of an action potential in the axon terminal and ending to degradation and breakdown product recycling seemed mostly mechanic and the steps were explained well on the book. As synaptic transmission is chain of most commonly chemical reactions, the steps can be affected by different drugs. Study of these drugs and their effects is neuropharmacology.