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The nervous system
Address the following Short Answer prompts for your Assignment. Be sure to include references to the Learning Resources for this week.
In 4 or 5 sentences, describe the anatomy of the basic unit of the nervous system, the neuron. Include each part of the neuron and a general overview of electrical impulse conduction, the pathway it travels, and the net result at the termination of the impulse. Be specific and provide examples.
Answer the following (listing is acceptable for these questions):
What are the major components that make up the subcortical structures?
Which component plays a role in learning, memory, and addiction?
What are the two key neurotransmitters located in the nigra striatal region of the brain that play a major role in motor control?
In 3 or 4 sentences, explain how glia cells function in the central nervous system. Be specific and provide examples.
The synapse is an area between two neurons that allows for chemical communication. In 3 or 4 sentences, explain what part of the neurons are communicating with each other and in which direction does this communication occur? Be specific.
In 3–5 sentences, explain the concept of “neuroplasticity.” Be specific and provide examples.
Please use APA not more than 5 years.
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The nervous system
Psychopharmacological Approaches to Treat Psychopathology
Basic Anatomy of the Nervous System
Neurons, which is the basic unit of the nervous system are specialized cells capable of transmitting impulse. The parts of a neuron include the dendrites, cell body, and axon, which assist the neuron to exchange electrical signals across different neurons. Axons transmit chemical and electrical signals while dendrite receives signals from other neurons. The electrical impulse in neurons occurs through action potential that leads to the transmission of positively charged ions across the membrane of the neuron (Jäkel & Dimou, 2017). When the electrical impulse reaches the end of an axon, it is terminated and converted to a chemical signal referred to as a neurotransmitter. For example, the neurotransmitters bind to the chemical receptors of the dendrite to allow the transmission to another neuron through its dendrites.
Major Components of the Subcortical Structure
Subcortical structure contains diverse neural formations found in the brain that function to process and relay neural impulses within the different parts of the brain (Xiaobo, et al., 2015). The following are the main component of the subcortical structure:
The subcortical component responsible for learning, memory, and addiction is the limbic system. The limbic system is the epicenter of emotion allowing individuals to express and feel emotions making it responsible for memory, learning, and addiction (Birur & Math, 2017). The functions of the limbic system are group into five major categories, namely, feeding, forgetting, fighting, family, and fornicating.
One of the key neurotransmitters in the nigra striatal region that plays a key role in motor control is dopamine (Sonne et al., 2021). Thus, dysfunction in dopaminergic neurons leads to motor-related diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. The second key neurotransmitter important in motor coordination is the acetylcholine
Functions of glia cells
These are non-neural cells located in the peripheral system and the central nervous system. Though the cells do not produce impulses like the neurons, they maintain homeostasis and provide protection and support to the neurons. The glia cells are also responsible for the formation of myelin. For example, myelin provides insulation to the axon and increases the speed of electrical impulses in the axon, as such, they protect one neutron from the other through the insulation properties (Jäkel & Dimou, 2017). An example of the protective function of glia is holding the neurons in place by surrounding them. Other functions of glia cells in the central nervous system include the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the brain and the destruction of pathogens. For instance, they are responsible for removing dead neurons to avoid causing damage or diseases.
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Communication between neurons
Communication between neurons occurs at the synapse, which is the junction between two different neurons. The communication occurs when neurotransmitters are released and enter the synapse where they travel through to bind to the receptors of the other neuron. In this case, the neurotransmitters are released by the axon of one neuron and bind to the matching receptors of a dendrite of another neuron leading to communication (Birur & Math, 2017). Thus, the synapse acts as an important medium for communication between neurons. For example, the use of psychotropic drugs explains the nature of communication. Psychotropic drugs cater to inefficiencies in neurotransmitters by bringing them into balance. In turn, the neurotransmitters create strong signals that lead to transmission from one neuron to the other aided by the synapse.
Neuroplasticity is the concept that the neuron network of the brain including the synapse is not static (Jäkel & Dimou, 2017). Instead, these components keep on changing through reorganization and growth to promote the proper functioning of the brain. For example, neuroplasticity is responsible for growth and development in children’s brain, which goes through several stages. Similarly, neuroplasticity is responsible for supporting learning in the brain (Birur & Math, 2017). Examples of neuroplasticity that occurs in the brain including the ability to make new connections, as well as cortical remapping.
Birur, B., & Math, S. (2017). A Review of Psychopharmacological Interventions Post-Disaster to Prevent Psychiatric Sequelae. Psychopharmacol Bull, 47(1). 8–26.
Jäkel, S., & Dimou, L. (2017). Glial Cells and Their Function in the Adult Brain: A Journey through the History of Their Ablation. Front. Cell. Neurosci, https://doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2017.00024.
Sonne, J., Reddy, V., & Beato, M. (2021). Neuroanatomy, Substantia Nigra. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing.
Xiaobo, L., Black, M., Xia, S., Zhan, C., Bertisch, H., Branch, C., & DeLisid, L. (2015). Subcortical Structure Alterations Impact Language Processing in Individuals with Schizophrenia and Those at High Genetic Risk. Schizophr Res, 169(0), 76–82. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2015.08.001.
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