Essay on Effects of Cocaine, Seratonin and Melatonin on the Brain

2623 Words 11 Pages
Abstract: The human brain is the most complex organ in the body. Its functions control every aspect of life. It is important to attempt to comprehend the workings of the brain and to learn the effects of natural and unnatural substances on it. In order to look at chemical effects on the brain, one must first get an understanding for the chemicals as well as how the brain works to interpret and react to signals set out by these chemicals, rhythmically and physiologically. Several chemicals observed include: cocaine (and other chemicals), seratonin, and melatonin.

Nature and life are full of rhythms. Rhythms in nature include: day and night, seasons, tides, and lunar and solar cycles. Humans are driven by rhythms like:
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Every individual has a different response to everything one eats, drinks, sniffs or injects and something interesting is bound to happen.

The human body absorbs the chemicals found in food, drink, perfumes, and other substances that the body comes in contact with. All of these are chemical, as are cocaine, caffeine, amphetamines, alcohol, nicotine, valium, aspirin, asparagus, beans, bananas, chocolate. So are we. We are chemical beings. Since humans are in constant contact with chemicals, it is important to comprehend the effects of these chemicals on the brain and body. However, one must first understand how the brain itself works. And believe it or not, the human brain really does work all the time -- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

What keeps the brain going? Every thought, dream, memory, fear and reaction are controlled by about one hundred billion brain cells. There is a chemical messenger molecule that conveys information from neuron to neuron in the brain called a neurotransmitter. The neurons do not touch each other. They are separated by gaps called impulses. Electrical neurotransmitters diffuse across the synapse and slot into receptors on neighboring neurons to turn them on or off. The neurotransmitter and the receptors have a key and lock relationship that turn the neurons on or off which is their response to addiction. The synapse is the place where drugs and chemicals can affect