One Answer

  1. Most neurotransmitters are amino acids and their derivatives. Some neurons modify amino acids to form amines (norepinephrine, serotonin, and acetylcholine), while others produce peptide neurotransmitters (endorphins, enkephalins). Only a small number of neurotransmitters are formed by non-amino acids.

    Consider acetylcholine as an example. This neurotransmitter is produced at neuromuscular synapses and is responsible for movement. If you want to move your finger, the brain sends an electrical signal to the muscle nerves, where acetylcholine is released, which causes the muscle to contract. It is also responsible for the functioning of the autonomic nervous system, which controls internal organs. It can both relax them (narrow the pupils, slow down the heartbeat), and make their work more intense – in particular, acetylcholine activates the gastrointestinal tract. In addition to peripheral functions, acetylcholine is responsible for brain function: it can both lower the level of arousal, and, conversely, activate the brain. In particular, it is responsible for processes related to memory: in Alzheimer's disease, the level of the mediator decreases. Drugs that regulate acetylcholine are used to fight neurodegenerative diseases.

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