The effect of drugs on synaptic transfer

Brief summart of how some drugs increase or decrease synaptic transfer. 

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  • The effect of drugs on synaptic transfer
    • Antagonists
      • Some drugs block receptors so they can't be activated by neurotransmitters
      • This means fewer (if any) receptors will be activated
      • eg. curare blocks the effects of acetylcholine by blocking nicotinic cholinergic receptors at neuromuscular junctions, so muscle cells can't be stimulated. This results in the muscle being paralysed
    • Inhibitors
      • Some drugs inhibit the enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft to bind to receptors and they're there for longer
      • eg. nerve gases stop acetylcholine from being broken down in the synaptic cleft. This can lead to loss of muscle control
    • Some drugs stimulate the release of neurotransmitter from the presynaptic neurone
      • eg. amphetamines
    • Some drugs inhibit the release of neurotransmitters from the presynaptic neurone
      • eg. alcohol


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