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Methamphetamine is produced from the main ingredient in cold medicines, known as __________.
All abused substances exert their effects by mimicking, or modulating the effects of, __________.
One of the worst abused substances in modern society is derived from opium and is known as __________.
The active ingredient in heroine is __________.
Indicated by cave paintings dating to 879 B.C., humans have been using __________ for many centuries.
Robert Heath discovered the pleasure center of the brain to be located in a group of neurons known as the __________.
Nucleus accumbans
Hans Kusterlitz discovered a natural brain chemical that has the same biological function as morphine, known as __________.
Morphine from heroine and endorphin both bind to the same type of neural __________.
Stimulation of the pleasure center of the brain results in the release of a particular neurotransmitter known as __________.
The most well known function of dopamine is its production of the pleasure that is associated with fulfillment of hunger and __________.
Sexual desire
The part of the brain associated with the emotional fulfillment sensation caused by dopamine is the __________.
Ventral tegmental area of VTA
Drugs like methamphetamine cause neurons of the VTA to release dopamine at very __________ levels.
Cocaine results in an increase in dopamine levels in the synapses by binding to, and thus blocking the action of, dopamine __________.
Both cocaine and methamphetamine increase dopamine levels, resulting in a sense of __________.
Euphoria or pleasure
When a person falls in love, the brain experiences an __________in dopamine levels.
The sweaty palms and flushed cheeks that accompany falling in love ultimately result from the neurotransmitter known as __________.
Norepinephrine or Noradrenalin
Phenylethylamine is a neurotransmitter involved in love and is also found in __________.
The neurological process of falling in love occurs in the part of the brain known as the __________.
Limbic system or midbrain
Long-term relationships are maintained by the production of a neurotransmitter known as __________.
Parkinson’s Disease results from decreased dopamine production by neurons of the __________.
Substantia nigra
Dopamine also plays a role in a serious mental disorder characterized by personality changes, hallucinations and psychotic behaviors, known as __________.
The pharmacological treatment for schizophrenia is, a drug that blocks dopamine receptors, known as __________.
Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is caused in part by a marked __________ in dopamine levels in the brain.
A developmental disorder characterized by hyperactivity, forgetfulness, mood shifts, poor impulse control and distractibility is known as __________.
Attention deficit hyperactive disorder of ADHD
Briefly explain James Olds’s research on rats and how it showed the pleasure center of the brain to play a role in addiction.
Olds implanted electrodes into the brains of rats that stimulated the nucleus accumbens when the rat pressed a paddle in its cage. They found that the rats would press the paddle to the point of exhaustion and would cross electrically charged grids in order to get to the paddle. No matter how much they stimulated the nucleus accumbens, they were never satiated, a characteristic seen in addicts who never feel satiated from using drugs.
How does methamphetamine alter dopamine levels in the brain? How does this lead to a sensation of euphoria?
Methamphetamine causes a marked increase in dopamine levels in the brain by stimulating neurons to produce extra amounts of dopamine. Normally dopamine is removed from the synapses very rapidly, but the excess produced as a result of methamphetamine use overwhelms the mechanism that removes the dopamine, so the excess results in an overwhelming sense of euphoria.
How does cocaine alter dopamine levels in the brain and how does this result in a euphoric sensation?
Cocaine alters dopamine levels by binding to and blocking the dopamine transporters responsible for removing dopamine from the synapses. Because this transporter cannot do its job, dopamine levels increase markedly in the synapse. This excess production results in an overwhelming sense of euphoria.
Explain dopamine’s role in Parkinson’s disease, including which part of the brain is involved.
Dopamine plays a role in coordinating motor functions. In Parkinson’s disease, neurons of the substantia nigra portion of the brain begin to die. As they die, less and less dopamine is produced by those neurons in that region of the brain. This lack of dopamine prevents the neurons of the substantia nigra from communicating with other parts of the brain, resulting in loss of motor control that characterizes Parkinson’s.
What is attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and how does dopamine play a role in the condition?
ADHD is a common childhood psychiatric disorder arising before the age of 7 and characterized by hyperactivity, forgetfulness, mood shifts, poor impulse control and distractibility. It has been found dopamine activity is low in the brains of children with ADHD.
What drugs are used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and how do they alter brain chemistry to do so?
The frequently used drugs used in the treatment of ADHD are methylphenidate of amphetamine. Both drugs are chosen because they both stimulate dopamine activities, although in different ways. Methylphenidate, otherwise known as Ritalin, functions by blocking dopamine transporters at the synapse, resulting in excess dopamine in the synapse. Amphetamine on the other hand stimulates dopamine release by neurons in the brain.
Explain falling in love from infatuation through long-term commitment in terms of brain chemistry.
The first step of falling in love occurs in the limbic system of the midbrain. When going through infatuation, three neurotransmitters are produced in greater than usual amounts in this area of the brain. An increase in the activity of dopaminergic neurons results in the release of greater than usual dopamine. Another neurotransmitter that is increased is norepinephrine or noradrenalin, which causes the sweaty palms and flushed cheeks associated with falling in love. Finally, another neurotransmitter involved in the passion of love is produced, phenylethylamine. These three neurotransmitters result in a change in the communication between the limbic system and the cerebral cortex resulting in infatuation. Once the infatuation stage passes, the brain enters the long-term commitment phase of love. In this phase, the neurotransmitter oxytocin is produced in the brain and causes long-term commitment. This can be seen in the monogamous prairie voles that are very attached to their young. They have very high levels of oxytocin in comparison to the polygamous montane voles that are much less attached to their offspring.

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