The Synapse

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  • Synapse
    • Functions
      • Transmits impulses between neurons and from neuron to muscle.
      • Filter out low level stimuli/ background stimuli
      • Protects from over stimulation
    • 1) When an action potential arrives at the axon terminal/endings, calcium moves into the synaptic knob
    • 2) Synaptic vesicles fuse with the presynaptic membrane
    • 3) Neuro-transmitter / acetylcholine (ACH) released exocytosis
      • Another example of a neuro-transmitter - NOR-ADRENALINE
    • 4) Diffuse over the synaptic cleft
    • 5) ACH binds to receptors on the post synaptic membrane causing the Na+ channels to open.
      • Na+ flows/floods in through the channels, this depolarises the post-synaptic membrane
    • 6) ACH broken down by an enzyme called CHOLIN-ESTERASE
      • The products diffuse back into the axon terminal through the pre-synaptic membrane where it is re-synthesised and packaged, ready for use
    • 7) ATP is required for this process  -re-synthesis and storage in the vesicles


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