Communication process of Neurons in the Brain

Essay by dmhalexanderCollege, UndergraduateA-, December 2006

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Write a 350- to 700-word response to the following: Explain the communication process of neurons in the brain. List some common neurotransmitters and describe their effect on behavior.

The information transmitted between the brains neurons is passed by the synapse. The synapse bridges the gap between neurons. A single synapse contains presynaptic ending where the neurotransmitters, cell organelles, and mitochondria work in harmony. Receptor sites for neurotransmitters are in the postsynaptic ending. The synapse also contains synaptic cleft this is a space separating the presynaptic and postsynaptic endings. The synapse can be considered a messenger between neurons. The potential for actions can not just cross the cleft gap, this is where neurotransmitters chemicals found at the axons and between synapses come in, and these chemicals carry the nerve impulse between the neurons. Neurotransmitters originate or are created by the cell that is sending out the impulse. Humans have many types of Neurons and neurotransmitters that work in different ways.

Some common neurotransmitters are: Acetylcholine the many functions this neurotransmitter is known to regulate REM sleep, stimulating muscles, including those of the gastro-intestinal walls. Alzheimer's patient suffer a 90% loss of this chemical. Glutamate is another common neurotransmitter and it is an excitatory substance. Serotonin is known as the feel good neurotransmitter regulating mood, and emotion, too little can cause depression, anger, even suicide. Endorphin is a neurotransmitter that is involved with pain reduction and pleasure.

The brain and human behaviors are a delicate balance of checks and balances. One system is designed so another dose not get out of control. For example when in distress the brain triggers the production of chemicals such as cortisol and the release of adrenaline. In short time frames these help the body to be more alert and survive. If the release of these hormones...