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Monday, 6 October 2014

Neurons and Neurotransmitters - Gador Ramos S6EN

         This past week we have been learning about neurons; their different parts and how do they interact. To understand better how neurotransmitter work, we had to choose an inhibitory or excitatory neurotransmitter and draw a comic about the effect the neurotransmitter has on people and how it works inside the brain.
         There are neurons all over our brain, they are minuscule and their function is to pass the information (electrical energy) from one neuron to another. The neuron that is passing the energy is called the presynaptic neuron and the neuron which is receiving the energy is the post synaptic neuron. The neuron is composed of different parts, the above part, which is a round shape type connected with thin lines (the dendrites), is called the cell body or the soma. Inside the soma there is the nucleus. There is a thicker line which is attached to the bottom of the cell body and it is called the axon. The axon is longer and thicker than the dendrites, and it is covered by myelin. Myelin is an insulating layer that prevents the electrical signal passing through the axon to escape from it. Then, the axon separates into different branches, and these branches separate into tinnier branches which are the axon terminals. At the end of the axon terminals is where the presynaptic terminals are located. Between the presynaptic terminal of the presynaptic neuron and the dendrites of the postsynaptic neuron, there is a space which is called the synaptic space or synaptic clef. The nerve impulse always goes to the right.

         In the presynaptic terminal all the energy is passed from one neuron to another. In the terminal there are vesicles filled in with neurotransmitters, when the energy comes to the terminal the vesicles go to the membrane and there, they free the neurotransmitters. 

The neurotransmitters being freed into the synaptic space go to their  receptors (attached to the dendrite) and pass the energy to the post synaptic neuron. Once they do that, all the receptors (the ones that have found their adequate receptors and the ones that have not) return to the presynaptic neuron passing through transporters.  
         When the axon is at rest and no electrical transmitters are passing through it, it has a negative charge on the inside and, on the outside it has a positive charge.  When electrical transmitters pass through parts of the axon it makes that part turn from a positive charge to a negative charge or vice versa.
         There are different neurotransmitters: neutral, excitatory and inhibitory ones.
These pass differently through the neurons. The neutral neurotransmitters make the electricity go at a normal rate, the excitatory neurotransmitters (ex: Glutamate) make the electricity go much faster than it should and lastly the inhibitory neurotransmitters make the electricity go at a very slow rate.
         To understand better how the excitatory or the inhibitory neurotransmitters work in real life, we had to draw a comic of how it worked inside our bodies but also on the outside and in what situations we use it or how it could help us.
I did the excitatory neurotransmitter norepinephrine. This neurotransmitter is like adrenaline, it comes from the medulla in the kidneys and it is responsible for stimulatory process in the body. It works by narrowing the blood vessels and increasing blood pressure and blood glucose levels. This is the process of my working comic and others working comics:


Sources of images: 1.

By Gádor Ramos S6EN