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Doctor insights on: Brain Neurotransmitters

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Neurotransmitter (Definition)

A neurotransmitter is a chemical messenger that carries, boosts and modulates signals between neurons and other cells in the body. In most cases, a neurotransmitter is released from the axon terminal after an action potential has reached the synapse. The neurotransmitter then crosses the synaptic gap to reach the receptor site of the ...Read more


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How can an imbalance of brain neurotransmitters cause delusions, insanity, etc?

How can  an imbalance of brain neurotransmitters cause delusions, insanity, etc?

Unknown for sure: There is a great deal of research in neurobiology about how the neurotransmitters' changes translate in the brain into thoughts and feelings, normal or abnormal. There are theories but no consensus yet. Perhaps my colleagues could add their views. But clinically, these connections have been clearly observed and symptoms like delusions can vastly improve with medications working at this level. ...Read more

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How does the human brain produce neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine?

How does the human brain produce neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine?

ACH synthesis brain: Ach in the brain is produced from acetyl-coa (from glucose metabolism) & from choline, which is actively transported across blood-brain barrier. Most dietary choline comes from phosphatidyl choline (major phospholipid in membranes of plants&animals) acetyl-coa & choline are independently synthesized in neuron cell body & transported along axon to synapse where they are joined into acetylcholine. ...Read more

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Gaba levels, the brain's primary inhibitory neurotransmitter, what does it actually do?

Gaba levels, the brain's primary inhibitory neurotransmitter, what does it actually do?

GABA receptor: Like many ligands, gaba binds to its specific receptor, the gaba receptor (with several subtypes). Depending on the location of the gaba receptor, binding of gaba modulates various signaling pathways in the body. Note that gaba receptors are also found in organs outside of the brain. ...Read more

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If psychiatric meds only change levels of neurotransmitters in brain, does everything go back to how it was before when the med is stopped or changed?

If psychiatric meds only change levels of neurotransmitters in brain, does everything go back to how it was before when the med is stopped or changed?

Very interesting ?: It is too general a question to answer, as each drug is different as is each patient's brain and illness. We assume things have re established an equilibrium if the person remains normal after the med is stopped ( ie a cure). If the illness returns quickly, then we assume that the medication was acting like a "cast" and was helping maintain but necessarily re establishing the equilibrium. If longterm side effects remain, such as a permanent dyskinesia then we know there has been a permanent change in brain chemistry.In reality however the brain is an ever-changing organ with great plasticity, so that the above comments can only be viewed as hypotheses and gross generalizations. ...Read more

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Is there a method to measure different neurotransmitter levels in the brain?

Is there a method to measure different neurotransmitter levels in the brain?

Not in the clinic: There are no tests available to measure brain neurotransmitter levels in the clinic. Researchers sometimes collect spinal fluid by a spinal tap, but this does not necessarily measure brain levels and it is not available to clinicians. There are some imaging tests that can give approximate numbers, but these are research studies and not used in clinical medicine. ...Read more

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Which is the neurotransmitter in the brain that makes headache pain to develop?

Which is the neurotransmitter in the brain that makes headache pain to develop?

Plus or minus: Too much of a neurotransmitter such as glutamate may provoke headache but so too for thyroxine, norepinephrine, antidiuretic hormone, vasoactive intestinal peptide. Many times the problem isn't too much but too little (eg serotonin) or simply imbalances between several neurotransmitters. ...Read more

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If pristiq (desvenlafaxine) worked for 2 months beautifully (then stopped) what neurotransmitters does my brain need?

If pristiq (desvenlafaxine) worked for 2 months beautifully (then stopped) what neurotransmitters does my brain need?

Worked for what?: Next treatment steps depend on why you were prescribed Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) in the first place -- and what it "worked for"? Please discuss with your own physician, who will want to know what's happening with you so s/he can improve your results. It may not be specific neurotransmitters at all, as these are not the sole explanation for difficulty you might be having. ...Read more

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Which type of doctor works with neurotransmitters of the human brain?

Which type of doctor works with neurotransmitters of the human brain?

Suggest: Contact either a psychiatrist or neurologist and see if that is a fit for you. ...Read more

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How do I balance my neurotransmitters in my brain with amino acid therapy to get it into good working function again?? Any help and tips!!

How do I balance my neurotransmitters in my brain with amino acid therapy to get it into good working function again?? Any help and tips!!

Several queries: What is concerning you regarding your "neurotransmitter" function? Are there emotional issues, cognitive issues, headaches, dizziness, fatigue?And why do you think amino acid therapy does anything practical or helpful? Give us direct concerns and we can pinpoint some directions for you. ...Read more

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What specific Autoimmune diseases attack brain cells and neurons causing a dramatic effect to neurotransmitters,hormones and the function of the brain

What specific Autoimmune diseases attack brain cells and neurons causing a dramatic effect to neurotransmitters,hormones and the function of the brain

Lupus: Systemic Lupus can attack everywhere and lead to the things u asked about. Other considerations are vasculitis syndromes as there is an autoimmune attack on and in blood vessels which can affect neurons indirectly. Myasthenia Gravis also affect the neuromuscular system and affects one of the main neurotransmitter, AcetylCholine. Rheumotologist is specialist to see for autoimmune disorders ...Read more

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Does Prozac (fluoxetine) lead to weight loss because of the change in neurotransmitters? After stopping does the drug change things around or can the brain go back

Does Prozac (fluoxetine) lead to weight loss because of the change in neurotransmitters? After stopping does the drug change things around or can the brain go back

Balance chemical : Prozac (fluoxetine) usually cause weight gains. Antidepressant is used to balance the neuro transmitters in your brain. After you stop it does affect some part of your brain. Sometimes it will restore your brain function if your body can make up the low neurotransmitter, but , unfortunately, sometimes your body can not make up the different, then you go back to previous stage. Everybody respond differently. ...Read more

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How do attention deficit disorder drugs work based upon neurotransmitter activity in the brain?

How do attention deficit disorder drugs work based upon neurotransmitter activity in the brain?

Dopamine: The stimulant medications (like Adderall (dextroamphetamine and racemic amphetamine) and ritalin), which are the best meds for adhd, work primarily by increasing the neurotransmitter Dopamine in a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, which controls executive functioning, which lets you plan, shift from task to task, and focus. People with adhd have a shortage of Dopamine in this area. ...Read more

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What is the function of neurotransmitters?

Homeostasis: Neurotransmitters are both inhibitory and excitatory, and exist to balance appropriately, the infinite entering signals from outside activity, and respond motorically as appropriate. These are chemicals which are secreted in the synapse which connects nerve to nerve, but also nerve to muscle, sweat glands, etc. ...Read more

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Which has more influence our thoughts controlling neurotransmitters or our neurotransmitters influencing our thoughts?

Which has more influence our thoughts controlling neurotransmitters or our neurotransmitters influencing our thoughts?

Chicken and egg: Argument. Actually nobody really knows exactly what a "thought" is. The best analogy that we have is the computer but if the brain is a computer it may be a new type. ...Read more

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What antidepressant medications selectively block neurotransmitters?

What antidepressant medications selectively block neurotransmitters?

Most newer ones: Most of the newer antidepressant medications affect specific neurotransmitters. Each does it slightly differently, accounting for the different response rates amongst them. The SSRI's primarily increase serotonin, the SNRI's both serotonin and norepinephrine, and buproprion mostly norepinephrine alone, and Brintellix affects many of them in different ways and in different places in the brain. ...Read more

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Is depression associated with low levels of neurotransmitter? Which one?

Is depression associated with low levels of neurotransmitter? Which one?

Some depression is: Serotonin plays an important role in feelings of well-being vs depression. Low levels can trigger depression and other disorders. Other neurotransmitters involved in depression include acetylcholine & catecholamines (dopamine, norepinephrine, & epinephrine). As well as corticotropin-releasing factor (crf), a stress hormone may be involved. But not all depression is chemically caused. ...Read more

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