Central Nervous System, Neurons and Recreational Drugs

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What does the central nervous system consist of?
The brain and spinal chord
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What is the role of the CNS?
Controlling behaviour and processing all incoming information
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What is a neuron?
A cell that communicates and send messages on the form or chemical or electrical messages
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Cell body
Main part of the cell where the nucleus is
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Holds genetic information
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End of neuron which receives the chemical message and triggers and action potential
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Long branch from the cell body that passes electrical impulses down to the end go the neuron
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Axon hillock
The part of the axon which connects it to the cell body
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Myelin Sheath
Fatty deposit which provides electrical insulation so that the nerves can be passed down the axon
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Nodes of ranvier
Gaps between the myelin sheath
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Axon Terminals
The end of the axon which leads to the terminal buttons
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Terminal Buttons
Very end of the neuron, nerve impulse becomes a chemical message which is passed along the synapse along to the post synaptic neuron
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Tiny sacs of neurotransmitter
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Chemicals that pass messages from neurons
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Explain synaptic transmission
The action potential domes down the axon and to the axon terminal, vesicles in the axon terminal bing to the membrane releasing the neurotransmitter into the synapse, the neurotransmitter binds to receptors on the postsynaptic neuron, triggers AP
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How are neurotransmitters removed from the synapse to prevent over stimulation?
Re-uptake- they are taken back into the cell through channel proteins, Destroyed- an enzyme digests them
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Inhibits messages, calming nerves
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Stimulates muscle contraction, expressions of emotion
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Emotions and mood control, dreaming and learning
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Happy, emotions, cognitive functions, reinforcement behaviours, hormonal regulation
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Mood control in limbic system, mood control, involved in feeling pain and hunger and sleep and body temp
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What is the reward pathway?
When it is activated it causes a pleasant feeling so that we are more likely to repeat that action that activated it, it is a key component in learning
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What causes a come-down? (use heroin as an example)
Heroin increases the amount of dopamine in the reward pathway, boosting activation of dopamineric synapses creating a pleasurable feeling, increased levels of dopamine makes the brain down-regulate production, when drug wears off, less dopamine
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What makes drugs addictive? (use heroin as an example)
It created that euphoria with lots of dopamine in the reward pathway, however down-regualtion lowers natural levels (come down), the person feels bad when it wears off so they take more to regain that pleasurable feeling
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How do people become dependent on drugs?
Repeated use of the drug causes further down-regulation of production of a neurotransmitter, this makes them physically dependant on the drug in order to avoid the negative experience , making the person addicted
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How does nicotine effect the nervous system?
Increases dopamine transmission by blocking the enzyme that breaks it down
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Describe the effect of cocaine on the transmission process and in the central nervous system
Cocaine works on the reward pathway and dopamine receptors, blocks the binding site on the re-uptake receptor, stops re-uptake flooding the synapse with dopamine, creating a feeling of euphoria as they keep bringing to the receptors
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Card 2


What is the role of the CNS?


Controlling behaviour and processing all incoming information

Card 3


What is a neuron?


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Card 4


Cell body


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