Behavioral Neuroscience

Topics: Immune system, Neuron, Nervous system Pages: 10 (2636 words) Published: May 7, 2013
Presentation Questions

1. Explain how the brain normally regulates serotonin. How does ecstasy act in the brain, & what neurotransmitters does it affect? - Normally, the brain regulates serotonin (5-HT) by taking up the release in neighboring neurons. - With ecstasy, the neuron is still supplied with 5-HT directly. However, ecstasy MIMICS 5-HT by blocking the reuptake of serotonin, [causing the release of high levels of 5-HT into the synapse], which induces euphoria & the psychological effects you experience. It also blocks the transporter of the original neuron, which causes the release of high level of 5-HT into the synapse creating “euphoria” - Ecstasy affects the neurotransmitters of serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, & oxytocin. Ecstasy enters neurons through the use of monoamine transporters & then inhibits the transporter; this inhibition INCREASES the levels of activity of neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine, & dopamine). Low levels of euphoria feelings are associated with dopamine and serotonin. Increase in oxytocin leads to more trust and decrease in fear

2. What behavioral effects does MDMA produce? Provide 2 examples of short-term & 2 examples of long-term behavioral effects on behavior. - Behavioral effects of MDMA: severe dehydration, jaw clenching, eye twitching, nausea, blurred vision, suppression of immune system, disturbed sleep patterns, and cognitive impairment - Short term effects: nausea, jaw clenching, disturbed sleep patterns, & changes in cognition, emotion, & motor function - Long term effects: (chronic use can cause serotonin to become depleted) working memory impairment (permanent), long-term chronic depression, & impairment with attention. (some negative effects: brain vasculature, white matter maturation, and possible axonal damage)

Alzheimer’s Disease
1. Name the areas of the brain that are affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Be sure to describe the processes that are affected within each area. - AD leads to nerve cell death & tissue loss throughout the brain (possibly due to plaques and tangles). Brain shrinks affecting nearly all its functions - Cerebrum: involved in remembering, problem solving, thinking, and feeling. o Cortex shrivels up, damaging areas in thinking, planning, and remembering - Impairs anterograde memory

o neurons (which help signals travel and form memories, thoughts, & feelings) are the chief cell destroyed by AD o AD disrupts both the way electrical charges travels within cells & activity of neurotransmitters - hippocampus shrinks, area of the cortex that plays a key role in formation of new memories - ventricles (fluid filled spaces within the brain) grow larger - hindbrain: effects cerebellum (physical activity) & brainstem (medulla, reticular formation, & pons)

2. What are the 3 stages of Alzheimer’s disease? Describe the typical problems in each stage, including the roles of tangles and plaques. - stage 1 (early alzheimer’s): little formation of tangles and plaques in area of hippocampus (mutated amyloid bodies) affecting learning & memory, also thinking & planning - stage 2 (mild to moderate): last from 2-10 yrs. More formation of plaques & tangles in hindbrain & lower parts of cortex affecting speaking & understanding speech as well as the bodies sense of position. These effects start to interefere with social or social life. typically diagnosed with AD in this stage - stage 3 (severe): may last 1-5 years. Most of the cortex is damaged; brain shrinks dramatically due to widespread cell death. Loses ability to take care of themselves & ability to communicate & recognize loved ones - “7 stages”

o no impairment
o very mild decline
o mild decline
o moderate decline
o moderately severe decline
o severe decline
o very severe decline

Generalized Anxiety Disorder...
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