The A – Z Of Neurotransmitters and Its Medical Importance

Neurotransmitters

Acetylcholine (ACh)

Learning

Location: neuromuscular junction, CNS

It involved in thought, learning and memory. Activates muscle action in the body. It also associated with attention and awakening. One of the primary functions of acetylcholine is to carry signals from motor neurons to the body’s skeletal muscles.

Low levels of acetylcholine(Ach) are seen in Alzheimers disease

Adrenaline

Fight or Flight

Location: Adrenal Medulla

Produced in stressful situations, increases heart rate and blood flow, leading to physical boost and heightened awareness

Noradrenaline

Concentration

Location: Adrenal Medulla

Affects attention and responding actions in the brain. Contracts blood vessels, increasing blood flow

Dopamine

Pleasure

Location: Hypothalamus

Feelings of pleasure also addiction, movement, and motivation. People repeat behaviors that lead to dopamine release

High dopamine levels are seen in Schizophrenia

Low dopamine levels are seen in Parkinson’s disease

Serotonin

Mood

Location: Gut, CNS

It contributes to well-being and happiness. It helps the sleep cycle and digestive system regulation. Affected by exercise and light exposure

Low levels of serotonin are seen in depression

High levels of serotonin are seen in mania

GABA(Gamma Amino Butyric Acid)

Calming

Location: Brain

It regulates moods, improves sleep and reduces anxiety

It calms firing nerves in the central nervous system. High levels improve focus, low levels cause anxiety. Also contributes to motor control and vision

Low levels of GABA are seen in Anxiety

Glutamate

Memory

Location: CNS, PNS

Most common neurotransmitter. It involved in learning and memory. It regulates the development and creation of nerve contacts

High levels of glutamate linked with OCD

Endorphins

Euphoria

Released during exercise, excitement, and sex. It produces well-being and euphoria, also reduces pain

Octopamine

Octopamine is an organic chemical closely related to norepinephrine and synthesized biologically by a homologous pathway. Its name derives from the fact that it was first identified in the salivary glands of the octopus.

In many types of invertebrates, octopamine is an important neurotransmitter and hormone. 

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