Week 5 – First Excursion and more on Neurotransmitters

On the fifth week of the course, we had our first excursion! It took place on Monday at 16:10 and lasted about two hours. During this excursion we learned about the history of MEGIN as well as how they function worldwide and some practicalities about the brain image measurements. For example, in order to measure the brain activities, a ‘cage’ has to be built around the system which minimizes the influence of outside magnetic forces. This is especially necessary due to the very small in scale magnetic activities caused by the brain functions. They also treated us to some nice refreshments such as coffee and cookies, which was welcome! The visit overall was a nice one and I would in theory love to work at their company if I ever get such an opportunity. The research that they do can end up helping a huge amount of people in this world as diseases related to the brain are ideally combated.

The lecture focused again on neurotransmitters, expanding on what we learned last week. This time the focus was on how the transmitters impact learning, or how they’re involved in diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. This is a very interesting topic, and one which I was hoping to learn about in this course so I’m glad that it was brought up! Another disease mentioned was Parkinson’s, and how this is caused by Dopamine receptors issues.  However, the exact cause of the disease, or the cause of the issues with Dopamine, remains unknown. Some details are presented in the image below.

 

The course is so far very enjoyable and I look forward to continuing it as the weeks go by!