Authors: Genetic Science Learning Center, University of Utah
Topic / Subtopic: B. Neural Excitability, Synapses, and Glia: Cellular Mechanisms / B.01. Neurotransmitters and Signaling Molecules, B.02. Ligand Gated Ion Channels, B.03. G-Protein Linked Receptors, B.06. Neurotransmitter Release, B.07. Synaptic Transmission; C.Disorders of the Nervous System / C.17. Drugs of Abuse and Addiction, C.18. Behavioral Pharmacology; H. Teaching, History and Societal Impacts of Neuroscience / H.03. Public Awareness of Neuroscience
Resource Type: Animation
Educational Level: 1 Introductory undergraduate, 2 Intermediate undergraduate, 3 Advanced undergraduate
Publication Date: 0001
Listing Updated: February 3, 2014
The simplified mechanisms of drug action presented here are just a small part of the story. When drugs enter the body they elicit very complex effects in many different regions of the brain. Often they interact with many different types of neurotransmitters and may bind with a variety of receptor types in a variety of different locations. For example, THC in marijuana can bind with cannabinoid receptors located on the presynaptic and/or postsynaptic cell in a synapse. Where applicable, this presentation primarily depicts how drugs interact with dopamine neurotransmitters because this website focuses on the brain's reward pathway. Mouse Party is designed to provide a small glimpse into the chemical interactions at the synaptic level that cause the drug user to feel 'high'.
Editor's Comment: Entertaining animation discussing effects of major drugs of abuse on synapses
Tags: cocaine, drugs of abuse, ecstacy, heroin, LSD, marijuana, methamphetamine
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