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19 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What are the two general functions of neurotransmitters?
1. To mediate rapid communication between neurons through excitatory or inhibitory electrical events.

2. Neuromodulation, which a slower process. It includes signaling cascades that regulate: a) synaptic transmission, b) neuronal growth, and c) other functions.
What is the most common excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS)?
What is the most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS)?
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
What is the main neurotransmitter at neuromuscular junctions in the peripheral nervous system (PNS)?
Which two neurotransmitters are the most important in the autonomic nervous system?
1. Acetylcholine
2. Norepinephrine
What are cholinergic neurons?
They are neurons that use acetylcholine.
With respect to the central nervous system, cholinergic neurons are primarily responsible for:

a) neuromodulation
b) neurotransmission
a) neuromodulation
Where is acetylcholine synthesized primarily?
In the Nucleus Basalis of Meynert (see p. 594 of Blumenfeld)
Where are neuromodulatory cholinergic neurons mainly found?
1. Pontomesencephalic region of the brainstem (pedunculopontine tegmental nuclei and lateral tegmental nuclei)

2. Basal forebrain (nucleus basalis of Meynert, medial septal nuclei, and nucleus of the diagonal band)
Cholinergic inputs to the thalamus are generally arousing.

Where do cholinergic neurons project to when they are originating from the nucleus basalis of Meynert?
To almost the entire cerebral cortex.
Where do cholinergic neurons project to when they arise from the medial septal nuclei and the nucleus of the diagonal band?
To the hippocampal formation.
What is the connection of cholinergic projections to the hippocampus and memory functioning?
They are involved in generating a rhythmic oscillation, called the hippocampal theta rhythm, which has been postulated to play a role in memory functioning.
What are the two main receptor types for acetylcholine in the central nervous system?
1. Muscarinic
2. Nicotinic
What are the main functions of acetylcholine in the central nervous system?
1. attention
2. memory
3. learning
If cholinergic transmission is blocked in the central nervous system, what type of deficits will you see?
1. Delirium
2. Memory deficits
How is acetylcholine related to Alzheimer's?
Degeneration of cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain may be one of the mechanisms for memory decline in Alzheimer's.
What is the relationship of myesthenia gravis and acetylcholine?
Myesthenia gravis is caused by a reduction in the efficiency with which acetylcholine receptors at the neuromuscular junction bind with aceytlcholine.
Why is eserine used in the treatment of myesthenia gravis or poisoning by curare?
Because it blocks the metabolism or breakdown of of acetylcholine into its constituent parts, thereby increasing the amount of aceytlcholine in the synaptic space.