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Glossary of Behavioral Science Neurochemistry

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What are the two divisions of the nervous system
CNS and PNS
What are the components of the CNS
Brain
Spinal cord
Which brain structures connect the cerebral hemispheres
Corpus callosum
Commissures—anterior, posterior, hippocampal, and habenular
Which hemisphere is usually the dominant hemisphere
Left hemisphere
What is the primary role of the left hemisphere
It governs our ability to express ourselves in language
Which hemisphere is usually the nondominant hemisphere
Right hemisphere
What is the primary role of the right hemisphere
It governs perceptual functions and the analysis of space, geometrical shapes, and forms
What are the components of the peripheral nervous system
Nerve fibers outside the CNS including cranial nerves, spinal nerves, and peripheral ganglia
How may cranial nerves are there
12 cranial nerves
How many spinal nerves are there
31 pairs of spinal nerves: 8 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 sacral, and 1 coccygeal
In which direction does the PNS carry motor and sensory information to the CNS
Motor information—away from the CNS
Sensory information—to the CNS
What are the components of the autonomic nervous system
Sensory neurons and motor neurons that run between the CNS (especially the hypothalamus and medulla oblongata) and various internal organs
What will be the neuropyschiatric consequences of a frontal lobe lesion
Deficits in concentration, judgement, motivation, and orientation
Emotional changes
Personality changes
What will be the neuropsychiatric consequences of a parietal lobe lesion
Right parietal lobe—(contralateral neglect) result in neglecting part of the body or space
Left parietal lobe—verbal deficits
What will be the neuropsychiatric consequences (3) of a temporal lobe lesion
Hallucinations
Memory deficits
Personality changes
What will be the neuropsychiatric consequences of a hippocampus lesion
Bilateral damage to hippocampus leads to massive anterograde and some retrograde amnesia
Unilateral damage of hippocampus leads to memory storage and retrieval problems
What will be the neuropsychiatric consequences of an amygdala lesion
Kluver-Bucy syndrome—uninhibited behavior, hyperorality, hypersexuality
What will be the neuropyschiatric consequences of a reticular system lesion
Sleep-wake cycle changes
What will be the neuropsychiatric consequences of a basal ganglia lesion
Tremor or other involuntary movements as seen in Parkinson’s or Huntington’s diseases
What will be the neuropsychiatric consequences of a hypothalamus lesion of the ventromedial nucleus
Decreased satiety—leads to obesity
What will be the neuropsychiatric consequences of a hypothalamus lesion of the lateral nucleus
Decreased hunger—leads to weight loss
What will be the neuropsychiatric consequences of a hypothalamus lesion of the anterior hypothalamus
Disturbances of parasympathetic activity
Disturbances of body cooling
What will be the neuropsychiatric consequences of a hypothalamus lesion of the posterior hypothalamus
Disturbances of heat conservation
What will be the neuropsychiatric consequences of a hypothalamus lesion of the septate nucleus
Change in sexual urges and emotions
What will be the neuropsychiatric consequences of a hypothalamus lesion of the suprachiasmatic lesion
Disturbances of circadian rhythm
What are the four main steps involved in neurotransmitter release
Presynaptic neuron stimulation
Neurotransmitter release
Neurotransmitter moves across synaptic cleft
Neurotransmitter acts on postsynaptic neuron receptors
What are the two different types of neurotransmitters
Excitatory—increase neuron firing
Inhibitory—decrease neuron firing
Pre and postsynaptic receptors are made of which substance
Protein
Which factors contribute to the magnitude of reaction neurotransmitters have on neurons
Affinity of receptors
Number of receptors
What are second messengers and what is their role in neurotransmission
They are low-weight, diffusible molecules used in signal transduction to relay a signal within a cell
What are the three major types of second-message molecules
Hydrophobic molecules (eg diacylglycerol)
Hydrophilic molecules (eg cAMP)
Gases (eg NO)
What are the three major classes of neurotransmitters
Amino acids
Biogenic amines
Peptides
How are neurotransmitters removed from the synaptic cleft
Reuptake by the presynaptic neuron
Degradation by enzymes (eg monoamine oxidase)
What neurotransmitter is altered in Alzheimer’s disease
Acetylcholine is decreased
What neurotransmitters (3) are altered with anxiety disorders
Norepinephrine is increased
GABA and Serotonin are decreased
What neurotransmitters (3) are altered with depression
Norepinephrine, Dopamine, and Serotonin are decreased
What neurotransmitter is altered with Mania disorders
Dopamine is increased
What neurotransmitters (2) are altered with schizophrenia
Dopamine and Serotonin are increased
Which amines (4) are included in the biogenic amines, which are also called monoamines
Catecholamines
Ethylamines
Indolamines
Quaternary amines
What is the monoamine theory of depression
It proposes that there is an underlying neuroanatomical basis for depression due to deficiencies of central noradrenergic and/or serotonergic systems
Why are metabolites of monoamines measured in psychiatric studies
They may be present in higher levels than the primary monoamines
What type of biogenic amine is dopamine
Catecholamine
In which psychiatric conditions (3) is an altered level of dopamine evident
Mood disorders
Parkinson’s disease
Schizophrenia
How is dopamine synthesized
By the conversion of tyrosine to dopamine by tyrosine hydroxylase
What is the metabolite of dopamine
Homovanillic acid (HVA)
In which psychiatric conditions (2) can there be an increased concentration of HVA
Psychotic disorders
Schizophrenia
In which psychiatric conditions (3) can there be a decreased concentration of HVA
Alcoholism
Depression
Parkinson’s disease
What type of biogenic amine is norepinephrine
Catecholamine
What behavioral factors (5) does norepinephrine alter
Anxiety
Arousal
Learning
Memory
Mood
How is norepinephrine synthesized
Dopamine is converted to norepinephrine by β-hydroxylase
Where are most noradrenergic neurons located in the brain
Locus ceruleus
What are the metabolites of norepinephrine
3-methyoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG); Vanillylmandelic acid (VMA)
In which psychiatric condition can there be a decreased concentration of MHPG
Severe depression
In which brain condition is there an increased concentration of VMA
Pheochromocytoma—a tumor of the adrenal medulla
What type of biogenic amine is serotonin
Indolamine (note that another name for serotonin is 5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT)
What behavioral factors (4) does serotonin alter
Impulse control
Mood
Sleep
Sexuality
If serotonin levels are increased, which behavioral factors (2) will be improved
Mood
Sleep
If serotonin levels are increased, which behavioral factor will be impaired
Sexual functioning
If serotonin levels are decreased, which behavioral factors (2) will be impaired
Impulse control
Sleep

Note that the patient is also likely to experience depression
How is serotonin synthesized
Tryptophan is converted to serotonin by tryptophan hydroxylase and an amino acid decarboxylase
Where are most serotoninergic cell bodies located in the brain
Dorsal raphe nucleus
Which pharmacologic agents are used to alter the level of serotonin in the brain
Antidepressants—eg selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
What is the primary metabolite of serotonin
5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA)
In which psychiatric conditions (7) is there a decreased concentration of 5-HIAA
Alcoholism
Bulimia
Impulsive behavior
Pyromania
Severe depression
Tourette’s syndrome
Violent behavior
What type of biogenic amine is histamine
Ethylamine

Note that psychoactive agents have an affect on histamine
Which pharmacologic agents (2) block the histamine receptor
Antipsychotic drugs
Tricyclic antidepressants (TCA)
What are side effects (2) of the histamine receptor blockade
Increased appetite—contributing to weight gain and obesity
Sedation
What type of biogenic amine is Ach
Quaternary amine
Where is acetylcholine normally found in the body
Neuromuscular junctions
What psychiatric conditions (3) are associated with a decrease in cholinergic neurons
Alzheimer’s disease
Down syndrome
Movement disorders
How is Ach synthesized
Acetyl coenzyme A (CoA) and choline are converted to acetylcholine by choline acetyltransferase in cholinergic neurons
How is Ach degraded
AchE degrades Ach into acetate and choline
Which pharmacologic agents (2) have been shown to reduce the degradation of Ach
Donepezil
Tacrine

Note that these agents can slow the progression of diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease
What are the three primary amino acid neurotransmitters
Gaba—γ-aminobutyric acid
Glutamate
Glycine
Which amino acid neurotransmitter is excitatory
Glutamate
Which amino acid neurotransmitters (2) are inhibitory
GABA—primary inhibitory neurotransmitter; Glycine
Which pharmacologic agents (2) alter duration and frequency of GABA
Barbiturates—alter duration of GABA
Benzodiazepines—alter frequency of GABA
Which neurotransmitter regulates glutamate activity
Glycine
Which pathologic conditions (4) may glutamate play a role in
Cell death mechanisms
Epilepsy
Neurodegenerative diseases
Psychotic disorders (eg schizophrenia)
What are the two endogenous opioids
Endorphins
Enkephalins
What behavioral factors (5) do endogenous opioids alter
Anxiety
Mood
Pain
Seizure activity
Temperature regulation
Which factor do endogenous opioids alter in research studies
Placebo effects—endogenous opioids are thought to play a major role in the placebo effects seen in research studies
Which neuropeptide has been implicated in aggression and pain
Substance P
Which two neuropeptides have been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease
Somatostatin
Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)
Which five neuropeptides have been implicated in mood disorders
Oxytocin
Somatostatin
Substance P
Vasopressin
VIP
Which two neuropeptides have been implicated in schizophrenia
Cholecystokinin (CCK)
Neurotensin

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