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Cognitive Neurology

 


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Our brains are an impressive collection of cells that create an intricate communication system that allows us to function. To accomplish this mission, these cells use many components such as neurons and neurotransmitters to get the information to where it needs to go. Without this communication network, we would not function. Years of brain studies have helped us to better understand brain neurology.

Neurons have an area called the cell body. In the cell body, chemicals called neurotransmitters (such as serotonin and dopamine) are manufactured. After they are made in the cell body, they travel down the axon of the neuron to the terminal end. When they reach the terminal end of the neuron, they are housed in membrane sacks called vesicles.

In between neurons is a gap called the synapse. In order for information to cross this gap, a series of chemical reactions have to occur to send the neurotransmitters across the divide. The neuron membrane and the vesicle membrane fuse and this signals the release of the neurotransmitters. They are released from the terminal end of one neuron and are sent across the synapse to be received at the receptor end of the next neuron. These receptors and neurotransmitters have been compared to finding a key to fit a lock since not all neurotransmitters will be able to attach to a particular receptor. If there is a match between the receptor and the neurotransmitter, then that match activates the system and allows the information to be sent along the chain. This can be interrupted if certain enzymes block or remove the neurotransmitter from a receptor site.

It is a type of domino effect that occurs in your brain and creates an amazing web of information and communication. Without these neurons and neurotransmitters, we could not function. Our brain would not be able to tell our bodies to do simple things like breath or pick up an item. Our brain is an amazingly powerful tool that relies on this system to get us the information that we need. That's why the study of brain neurology is so important.

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