SYNAPTIC PLASTICITY AND DRUG ADDICTION ESSAY

Aug 10th, 2016
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SYNAPTIC PLASTICITY AND DRUG ADDICTION ESSAY

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Running head: SYNAPTIC PLASTICITY AND DRUG ADDICTIONSynaptic Plasticity and Drug AddictionName:Course code & title:Name of institution:Date:1SYNAPTIC PLASTICITY AND DRUG ADDICTION2Synaptic Plasticity and Drug AddictionThere are natural intrinsic neurotransmitters in our bodies that are responsible forregulating our emotions. These neurotransmitters include norepinephrine, dopamineGABA, glutamate, serotonin and endorphins. Nor-epinephrine, dopamine, glutamate andendorphins are the feel-good hormones in our bodies. Nor-epinephrine, dopamine andserotonin are monoamines (Koob, 2014). These hormones have been isolated andsynthesized using recombinant technology to produce drugs that are used to treat variousmedical conditions.There are 5 groups of drugs that act on the mesolimbic system namely (Wills,2013): Psychostimulants OpiatesSYNAPTIC PLASTICITY AND DRUG ADDICTION3 Ethanol Cannabinoids and NicotinePsychostimulants are not frequently used in the clinical set up. They are oftenused in intensive care unit setting. Examples are amphetamines and cocaine. They causetransient increase in energy and alertness by increasing epinephrine concentration in thesynaptic cleft. Cocaine blocks a catecholamine reuptake pump located on the presynapticmembrane in order to effect this. Higher levels of catechol-amines explain the goodfeeling that accompanies their usage (Wills, 2013). Persistently elevated levels ofcatechol-amine

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