Types and Functions of Neurotransmitters and Hormones

The neuron structure is made up of four different morphological regions. They include presynaptic terminals, axons, dendrites and the cell body (Neuron-Neurotransmitters, personal communication, n.d.). The study of the nervous system aids in the understanding of the human psychology within the basis of biology. The neural communication is essential in the transmission of impulses through the synapses. Therefore, the neurotransmitters can be defined as neurochemical messengers (Neuron-Neurotransmitters, personal communication, n.d.). When released, the neurotransmitters perform specific functions within the brain. Different sensations can then be experienced at different levels of power. These levels can be altered through both internal and external actions. The elements are inclusive of alcohol, hormones, certain medications and the environment. Through the combination of these elements, behavior can be influenced.

A variety of inter-linking processes and circuits are used to regulate behavioral patterns in the brain. Targeted cells are used to receive the chemical substances released by the neurons through the neurotransmitter receptors (Neuron-Neurotransmitters, personal communication, n.d.). The following are some of the existing neurotransmitters:

  1. Acetylcholine- It is related to memory, thinking and learning (Neuron-Neurotransmitters, personal communication, n.d.). It enables the contraction of muscles and is linked to arousal and alertness.
  2. Norepinephine- It is also known as adrenaline and is released by the adrenal glands. It is sometimes secreted as a neurotransmitter by some neurons (Neuron-Neurotransmitters, personal communication, n.d.). The heart rate and blood flow are increased leading to awareness and physical strength. This neurotransmitter is especially produced during exciting or stressful situations and its excessive production may lead to depression and Dementia.
  3. Noradrenaline- It is produced as a hormone and works through the contraction of blood vessels and the increase of blood flow (Neuron-Neurotransmitters, personal communication, n.d.). This production leads to the improvement of attention and speed, therefore terming it as a stress hormone. When its levels are increased within the human body, a response is triggered by the nervous system through the flight response.
  4. Dopamine- The neurotransmitter is linked to the feeling of pleasure and is associated with motivation and movement (Neuron-Neurotransmitters, personal communication, n.d.). The repeat of behaviors results in the release of dopamine and it leads to addictions. Specific movement disorders lead to the abnormal secretion of this neurotransmitter resulting in Parkinson’s disease. Depression and anxiety disorders are a result of the secretion of limited amounts of serotonin. This may result in the development of OCD.
  5. Endorphin- Euphoria and reduced pain are associated with the neurotransmitter (Neuron-Neurotransmitters, personal communication, n.d.). It is identified as a natural painkiller and is often secreted during sexual, arousal and physical exercises.
  6. Gamma-AminoButyric Acid (GABA) – It allows for the release of neurons within the central nervous system (Neuron-Neurotransmitters, personal communication, n.d.). It improves focus when released in high levels and causes low anxiety. Motor control and vision is also improved through its secretion. It also enhances memory and learning through the part of the brain termed as hippocampus.
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