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Jul 29th, 2011

Depression – Part 5

The Need for Neurotransmitters

To relay the brain’s electrical messages from one nerve cell to the next, the nerve endings (axons) must secrete neurotransmitters. Certain neurotransmitters carry pain sensations, while other order voluntary muscle movement; some cause excitory emotional responses, others are inhibitory.

The neurotransmitters that govern our excitory emotional responses are called catecholamines – noradrenalin and adrenalin – derived from the amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine. Our reactions to everything we encounter – the way we are stirred by a piece of music, angered by an argument, amused by a joke – depend on the body levels of these specific neurotransmitters. Too much or too little of any of these substances will make us under- or overreact, according to stimulus.

(Continued Monday…)

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