Synaptic Activity Is Vital For The Passage Of Information Throughout The Nervous System

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Synaptic activity is vital for the passage of information throughout the nervous system, as it allows for electrical impulses to be passed from one neuron to another. Electrical impulses in the form of action potentials are passed through the axon of a neuron towards the axon terminal. This information is then passed across the synaptic cleft to receptors present on the postsynaptic membrane via the process of neurotransmission. Drugs can interrupt this specific process in a variety of ways such as through affecting the production, storage and release of neurotransmitters, the presynaptic and postsynaptic receptors as well as the reuptake and destruction of neurotransmitters (Carlson, 2014). Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) are just two types of drugs which can affect different pathways in this process of neurotransmission. In doing so, the neurotransmitter serotonin is made more available within the central nervous system (CNS), a neurotransmitter believed to be central to the affective disorder of depression, which is caused by a deficiency of serotonin.
The process of neurotransmission begins with an action potential. An action potential can be described as ‘the brief electrical impulse that provides the basis for conduction of information along an axon’ (Carlson, 2014), and is determined by the movement of ions through ion channels in or out of a cell, depending on the permeability of the membrane, forces of
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