Neurotransmitters are substances that play an important role in the synapse process . Its chemical properties help there to be a better interaction between receptors and neurons that send information in the form of impulses. Consequently, a specific answer is obtained.
The first time the capabilities of these substances were discovered, it was possible to better understand the functioning of the nervous system . It also meant finding answers regarding various pathologies to which specific treatments could be assigned.
What is neurotransmission?
Neurotransmitters are biomolecules . These are substances that are stored inside neurons, they have chemical properties that, however, cannot be secreted from a pre-synaptic neuron. It is only possible if they are present there, that is, the enzymes that start the process.
These substances are related to the chemical synapse, this means that a connection that is not physical can be maintained between two neurons. Considering that it is a process that can be carried out in two ways, electrical and chemical , neurotransmission plays an important role in the regulation of bodily functions.
The main characteristic of this chemical process is that these substances are biomolecules that have the ability to carry out communication at a distance . It begins when one of them is released from a presynaptic neuron, it begins with the interaction with the receptors that are located in a postsynaptic neuron.
The execution of any bodily function is the result of a chain process, when the first one has been activated there will be an immediate response followed by another consecutive one. All neuronal responses will not always depend on a neurotransmitter, but on a receptor . The effect is identical to that of presynaptic stimulation.
There are a large number of neurotransmitters, the list grows as they are discovered. The first official tests during the 1980s to date have identified 60 of these substances.
What are the characteristics of the neurotransmission process?
The human mind is complex and various mental processes are carried out in them, several such as emotions and strategy planning can be mentioned . It is also remarkable that through specific mental processes language and certain involuntary movements can be used . Due to this variety of actions there is a proportional number of neurons that are coordinated so that each part of the brain works to execute them.
These substances help to have a communication that adapts to any of the aforementioned actions. The use of the different types of neurotransmitters is vital for the activation of each of the groups of nerve cells .
For example, in the case of dopamine or serotonin , both will need to go up or down to create a certain reaction at the most opportune moment. In this way, the nervous system can have a wide range of reactions or behaviors, constantly showing a great capacity to adapt to the environment.
The following describes the characteristic features of neurotransmitters:
- They have independence regarding their participation in any nervous activity. Although it is possible that they are modified to adapt, they depend on some enzymes to carry out the process of synapse or synthesis. In the same way, presynaptic receptors must be stimulated to reduce the blockade of neurotransmitters.
- The neurotransmitters interact through the intervention of a receiver. Activation happens quickly and repeatedly.
- These substances are pumped at a high speed, the purpose is to make them reach each of the nerve endings through reuptake processes called ATP.
- In some cases, the destruction of these substances by enzymes located near the receptors is possible.
- They can be reused when they are received and stored in vesicles, which occurs in nerve endings.
In most cases electrical synapses are mentioned, but these connections can also be made by means of chemical elements. Neurotransmitters are these elements that have the ability to generate cognitive functions such as memory , learning and perception.
At present, the existence of a dozen of the 60 neurotransmitters that is known is officially recognized . According to various studies, it has been possible to specify how they work, thus it has been possible to find solutions to various ailments by designing drugs that generate the desired psychotropic effects.
Currently the neurotransmitters that are known are the following: dopamine, serotonin, glutamate, acetylcholine, norepinephrine and GABA . Each of them has a specific function, but in common they have the similarity of being able to modulate the synapse between neurons.
The main function of these substances is to achieve electrical connections , neurons will begin to act within the nervous system to carry out certain bodily functions. The influence that neurotransmitters have on neurons does not always occur in the same way.
Hooking into ion channels is possible when an electrical impulse is produced that arises from the potential difference from the outside of the neuron to the inside. The movement generated by the particles that have the electrical charge causes a differential to occur which promotes the activation of the threshold. Some neurotransmitters may be found in the membrane of the neuron, the channel opens that allows greater movement of the ions and thus the neuron fires.
It is also possible to latch onto receptors that are located on the neuron’s membrane. In this case, a modulation is being done that is more complex and that is developed in a metabotropic receptor. Taking into consideration that it is not a channel that opens or closes, but it is responsible for producing other substances. When the neurotransmitter is hooked, a protein begins to be released which has generated changes in the structure and functioning.
How you can observe the participation of these substances is elemental. They are integrated into important processes such as motor integration and cognitive function . They are substances capable of maintaining a balance in the neuronal interconnections, because there are several subtypes, each of their corresponding functions must be studied.
Considering that the brain works from neural circuits that manage all daily activities through a process of intercommunication , this is partly generated chemically and also electrically.
Neurotransmitters have a great physiological impact and are related to various pathologies. Practices related to the functioning of neurotransmitters allow evaluating mental conditions such as fever, insomnia, migraines, depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.
The effects generated can have a long or short term duration, and possible changes in the postsynaptic membrane can also be observed. Nerve impulses are necessary to be able to generate muscle coordination in the central nervous system , maintain control of organs and body secretions. Essential functions such as skeletal movement and cardiac regulation depend on these impulses.
Your intervention is important for the propagation of signals through the central nervous system. All vertebrate mammals guarantee their survival through these processes that help in the communication of the neural network.
Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.