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Know the Different Types of Neurotransmitters that Help Regulate Brain Activity

Neruotransmitters are chemical messengers that carries, boosts, and balances signals between neurons and target cells in our brain and even throughout our body. There are over a billion neurotransmitters that work constantly to keep our brains functioning and manages everything from breathing, concentrating, and learning. In addition, these molecules can also affect a variety of psychological functions such as fear, mood, pleasure, and joy. 

Here are a list of the many different kinds of neurotransmitters along with their known functions:

Acetylcholine

This neurotransmitter triggers muscle contractions, controls our heartbeat, and stimulates some hormones. This neurotransmitter is crucial to memory and plays a significant role in brain function. High levels of ACh can cause too much muscle contractions leading to seizures, spasms, and other health complications while low levels of ACh are linked to issues with memory and is what those with Alzheimers experience. 

Dopamine

Dopamine is also important in functions such as memory, learning, behavior and movement coordination. Our body releases these signals during pleasurable activities however low levels can cause Parkinson's disease. And research shows that regular exercise can help boost dopamine levels naturally even in people with early stage Parkinson's disease. 

Endorphins 

These neurotransmitters inhibit our pain signalling pathways and are our body's natural pain relievers. These signals create an energized, euphoric feeling. The natural ways in which our body produces endorphins is through aerobic exercise and laughter. 

Epinephrine

Also known as adrenaline, this neurotransmitter and hormone is responsible for our body's flight or fight reponse. During a stressful and scary event, our body releases epinephrine which increase our heart rate and breathing which gives our body the boost of energy it needs in order to respond to the event,

GABA

Gamma-aminobutyric Acid, most comonly known as GABA, is our body's mood regulator. It acts upon inhibitory action thus preventing neurons from being overexcited. Those experiencing anxiety, irritability, and restlessness have low levels of GABA due to its inability to calm those neurons. Benzodiazapines are common drugs that can treat anxiety and works by increasing the action of GABA. 

Serotonin 

Another inhibitory neurotransmitter is serotonin. This neurotransmitter is involved with mood, apetitite, blood clotting, sleep, and the circadian rhythm. This chemical messenger is heavily involved with depression and anxiety. However, SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can increase the body's serotonin levels in the brain to help relieve depression. There is also evidence that vigorous exercise and exposure to sunlight can cause a natural increase in serotonin levels. 

 

Click here to read more about the various different types of neurotransmitters that exists. If you need further assistance, please give us a call to make an appointment at (714) 867-7037.

 

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