Norepinephrine is a chemical essential for survival . This is because at a physiological level it prepares the body so that it can face any type of situation. It also has control over emotional processes such as stress. For this reason, when there is an imbalance in the normal levels of this substance in the body, consequently, one suffers from depression and anxiety.

Many body functions depend on different molecules that are basically hormones and neurotransmitters. These chemical substances are produced naturally in different glands, they are capable of modifying different processes that occur in essential organs and tissues. Other molecules are synthesized by neurons and are those that regulate the activity that occurs in the central nervous system. Norepinephrine is precisely a molecule that has the characteristics of a neurotransmitter and also a hormone.

What is noradrenaline?

Norepinephrine is a chemical element that has the particularity of helping to transport other substances . It is also responsible for certain actions to be carried out in various bodies. It could be said that several bodily functions depend entirely on the participation of this substance, it is a hormone and also a neurotransmitter.

Biologically, the human body consists of three types of chemical substances which belong to the group of catecholamines . They are capable of generating and giving continuity to various physiological processes that are essential, they are: dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine. Some authors also use another term to refer to the same substance which is norepinephrine.

Officially the first scientist to identify norepinephrine was Ulf von Euler, a physiologist of Swedish origin. It happened in the mid-40s of the last century, thanks to this discovery he would receive the Nobel Prize in 1970.

What are their characteristics?

The main characteristic of norepinephrine is its ability to work as a neurotransmitter, this means that it facilitates communication between neurons through the synapse. It also has the functions of a hormone which means that it facilitates particular functions in certain organs, muscles and other tissues.

Among its multiple functions, its effect on blood pressure stands out, which increases during stressful situations or perception of danger. That is why doses of drugs that are made from this substance can be administered, the purpose of which is to facilitate the transport of blood through the circulatory system.

In a natural way, the body’s own system leads controlled amounts of this substance, its objective is to create a response to fight and prevent dangerous situations or those that require greater attention. It is also observed that it generates muscle contraction involuntarily.

One of its main benefits is to achieve an increase in oxygen levels at the brain level. This is possible because it facilitates communication between norepinephrine with a hormone called epinephrine, both together also communicate with adrenergic receptors found in various areas of the nervous system.

Its duties? 

Norepinephrine NA is also known as norepinephrine NE . Officially it is a chemical that belongs to the catecholamine family. They are very important for the proper functioning of the brain, because it has the characteristics of a hormone and a neurotransmitter.

It originates at the ends of sympathetic nerve fibers. One of its effects is to achieve the contraction of the skeletal muscle , it also makes the heart organ to contract. Their actions are vital because they allow the body to prepare itself to react effectively to moments of acute threat.

It could be said that norepinephrine has similarities with adrenaline , mainly because both narrow the blood vessels which facilitates the increase in blood pressure. It is also achieved that the levels of glucose in the blood also increase.

It is mainly produced and stored in the adrenal glands in small quantities, later it is gradually released in the sympathetic nervous system, having a direct effect on neurons. That is why it is mainly considered as a neurotransmitter that, in addition, has some characteristics of a hormone.

It is responsible for transmitting information in the form of electrical impulses to different organs and tissues of the body . It is transported primarily through adrenergic neurons found in the central nervous system, but it also extends to the autonomic nervous system. In the latter is where it is responsible for activating the natural mechanism of anxiety in certain dangerous situations.

It is the substance that will initiate the stimulation process for the production of adrenaline . It is also responsible for an increase in the ability to maintain attention and an effective reaction for self-protection.

As for its function as a hormone, it is released into the blood once it is synthesized by the amino acid known as tyrosine . This process occurs in the adrenal glands that are located above the kidneys. When it binds to adrenergic receptors, it triggers effects such as vasoconstriction, thereby narrowing the blood vessels so that blood pressure increases. This is a benefit for the heart muscle because it allows more blood flow to the heart.

Recent studies have shown that it also increases blood glucose levels, also free fatty acids. Other studies propose that norepinephrine also activates the production of certain immune cells.

How is it produced and how is its segregation increased?

The way in which norepinephrine is produced in the body is through a complex process. It starts from neurons, they are small units of the nervous system that join together to form a complex neural network. All the connections between these neurons are known as synaptic vesicles , it is there that small amounts of norepinephrine are released. When this substance goes to work with cells, it works as a neurotransmitter.

On the other hand, when this substance is released directly from the adrenal glands, it will have a hormonal effect . It is especially useful for various brain areas to function. It makes it easier for blood to reach all areas of this organ and also others.

In order for it to function correctly, it always depends on the presence of adrenergic receptors , they are located in different sectors and organs. They have the function of capturing norepinephrine that originates in synaptic vesicles. For example, these are found in the hypothalamus, thalamus, amygdala, spinal cord, and in the hippocampus.

When there is an imbalance in the normal levels of norepinephrine in the body, multiple factors must be taken into account. The most common in most cases is to observe problems in adrenergic receptors, especially those located in the brain. Another possibility is that there is an alteration in the normal functioning of the adrenal glands .

In order to correctly identify any of these scenarios, the presence of some symptoms must be observed. Highlight problems with maintaining attention and the ability to respond effectively to stressful situations. Likewise, there is an imbalance in the correct functioning of the circulatory system with an increase in blood pressure.

In these cases, a treatment based on the administration of drugs made from norepinephrine is usually used The intention is to reduce today instead increase the levels of this substance depending on the patient’s condition.

Norepinephrine is currently used clinically to treat certain types of blood pressure-related disorders. For example, it is effective for low blood pressure known as hypotension, however it can be life threatening for certain medical conditions so it must be administered under medical supervision. Another common example is its administration when CPR is performed .

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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.

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