Drugs

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Type of drug:
Medicines
Examples:
Paracetamol, penicillin, insulin

Type of drug:
Everyday substances
Examples:
Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol

Type of drug:
Illegal substances
Examples:
Cannabis, heroin, cocaine

A drug is an chemical that affects the way your body functions, and how you think and feel.
Legal drugs, such as alcohol, tobacco and caffeine, and prescription medicines also carry risks of dependancy and damage, and can be 'misused' in the same way as illegal drugs.

Parkinson's disease is caused by the progressive loss of neurones in a part of the brain that produces the chemical dopamine.
Symptoms of Parkinson's disease include tremors, stiffness, slow movements, and impaired balance and coordination.
The enzyme in the synapse breaks down the dopamine, continues to act, so there will not be enough dopamine to balance the normal levels of acetylcholine (ACh). The overall effect is extensive loss of dophamine in the brain.
Most drug treatments for Parkinson's increase the level of dopamine in the brain or oppose the action of ACh.

Drug:
Dopamine replacement drugs such as levodopa and a chemical
What it does:

  • Breaks down in the body to form dopamine
  • The chemical ensures the right amount of dopamine in the brain

Drug:
Drugs that mimic the action of dopamine
What it does:
May be taken alone before using levodopa to reduce its long-term side effects

Drug:
Drugs that stop the breakdown of dopamine
What it does:

  • Can be used with levodopa
  • Usually given when dopamine replacement drugs start to lose their effectiveness

Drug:
Anticholinergic drugs
What it does:
Blocks the action of the ACh

Drugs such as diamorphine (heroin) can be used to relieve severe pain. Diamorphine is a chemical derivative of morphine, but it is more soluble and

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