Neurochemistry is the Study of Neurochemicals and Neurotransmitters that Influence the Function of Neurons

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Neurochemistry is the study of neurochemicals and neurotransmitters that influence the functions of neurons. This is the science behind the fact that certain transmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and Norepinephrine react in the brain and cause chemical reactions and synapses that affect brain and bodily functions. Famous neurochemical experiments include: Otto Loewi’s discovery of the first neurotransmitter. In his experiment, he used two frog hearts. One heart (heart #1) was still connected to the vagus nerve. The first heart was placed in a chamber that was filled with saline. This chamber was connected to a second chamber that contained the second heart. So that fluid could flow between the chambers. The electrical stimulation of the first heart affected the heart causing it to slow down. Loewi also observed that the second heart had a delayed reaction, but also slowed down. From this experiment, Loewi concluded that the liquid released from the first heart, due to stimulation of the vagus, was a neurotransmitter that affected heart rate. He called this chemical "Vagusstoff". This chemical later became known as acetylcholine. In 1948, Irvine Page, Arda Green and Maurice Rapport of the Cleveland Clinic discovered a substance in blood serum, due to the fact that it affected vascular tone, they called it serotonin. Serotonin, or 5-hydroxytryptamine, was classified as a “putative neurotransmitter in certain parts of the brain” in 1972.

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