The Big THING in your Head Called the Brain
By: Maxwell M.
Have you ever wondered about the chemistry in the brain? There are about 100,000 chemicals in the brain. That is a lot. Today I am going to tell you about three chemicals in the brain. I am going to tell you about amino acids, the network in your brain, and drugs. Hope you have fun learning.
Amino acids are chemicals in your brain that come from proteins and they are building blocks to your brain’s network. Amino acids have to travel by being escorted by a specific cell on a specific path. The amino acids tryptophan and tyrosine must both cross the blood-brain barrier in the same pathway. If tryptophan crosses the barrier, it will have a calming effect. If tyrosine wins out, then you will be energized and alert. Amino acids can help the brain by nourishing the brain. Food is the best source of amino acids. Amino Thingies Out.
Inside the Network of Your Thingy up There
The communication network in your brain is a multi-trillion maze of connections capable of performing 20 million-billion calculations per second. Neurons are circuits in your brain that send messages around the body. Three excitory neurotransmitters are serotonin, Dopamine, and norepinephrine. Dopamine is a chemical in your brain that helps your brain with motivation and reward. Drugs of addiction can affect pathways that use Dopamine which has a negative impact on the brain. Serotonin regulates sleep and emotions. Your brain requires norepinephrine to form new memories and to transfer memories to long-term storage. Norepinephrine comes from Dopamine and helps with the body’s response to stress through “fight or flight”. Thingy up there out.
There are different kinds of drugs. One drug is Ecasty: Serotonin tranporters are responseble for removing serotonin from the synaptic cleft. Ecasty memics serotonin. When it does that the transporter gets confused and does its job in reverse. The serotonin shoots out into the synapic cleft and binds to recepters and overstimulating the cell. Ecasty effects mood, sleep, perception, and appetite. Another drug is LSD: LSD is like serotonin. It binds to serotonin recepters but it has a different effect. It ether inhibits them or ecxites them. LSD triggers wakefullness and a startled response. Dwugs out.
Now that you learned about some chemistry in the brain go tell your neighbors, friends, family, classmates, and teachers what you have learned. Remember the three things you learned about were amino acids, the network your brain, and drugs impact on the chemicals in the brain.
Genetic Science Learning Center. U of Utah, 2006. Web. 13 Mar. 2013. .
Morgan, Jennifer, and Ona Bloom. Cells of the Nervous System. Phildelphia: Chelsea, 2006. Print. Gray Matter.
Resources for Science Learning. Franklin Institute, n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2013. .
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