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Endorphins Psychology

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The function of the body relies on many components:muscles, bones, organs. These components receive signals through chemical reactions in the nervous system. These chemicals are called endorphins. Endorphins are defined by the World Book as “any group of substances in the nervous system of human beings [that]...control the brain's perception...and response to pain”. Overall, I'll discuss what endorphins are, how they function, endorphins in surgery, and a closely related chemical called enkephalin.
Endorphins are any group of chemicals that play a part in the proper functioning of the human nervous system, specifically relating to pain. They are peptides, which are chains of amino acid. Beta-endorphins, “one of the most extensively studied
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All endorphins use chemical reactions to accomplish their task. Beta-endorphins bind mu-opioid receptors, “which are most abundant in descending pain control circuits”, and exert their primary action at presynaptic nerve terminals [in the peripheral nervous system] (Hawaii Med Journal). In the central nervous system, “they exert their analgesic effect by inhibiting the release of an inhibitory neurotransmitter” (Hawaii Med Journal). This process is called presynaptic binding. During this process, a cascade of reactions occurs, releasing tachykinins, a protein involved with transference of pain. Endorphins are most active when we are most active; the nervous system sending transmissions through chemical reactions of…show more content…
“Enkephalins are pentapeptides with pharmacological properties similar to narcotic drugs” (PubMed). They are widely distributed both in and out of the central nervous system. The basal ganglia, for instance, contains large amount of enkephalin. Enkephalin can also be found in the adrenal medulla, gastrointestinal mucosa, myenteric plexus, and sympathetic ganglia.
Endorphins, located in the pituitary gland, bind mu-opioid receptors when signaled with corticotroponin-releasing hormone by the hypothalamus due to physical stressors. Exogenous opioids, administered during surgery, inhibit endogenous opiates, such as endorphins and enkephalins, to be produced. Though endorphins have a complex relationship with the parts of the body it works with, their role is actually quite simple: control the brain’s perception, and therefore response, to any physical stressor. Next time you get a papercut or stub your toe, you can think, “It’s all in my
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