Neurotransmitters Research Papers

Neurotransmitters Research Papers-48
Within the synaptic buttons are small spherical structures called synaptic vesicles that house the neurotransmitters until they are released (see Figure 14.1).Three main types of neurons can be classified by structure: monopolar neurons, bipolar neurons, and multipolar neurons.

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As the axon reaches the end of the neuron, it branches into smaller, thin appendages with protuberances at each end (axon terminals or synaptic buttons).Mitochondria produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the fuel source for cellular activities (Thomas, 1989).Ribosomes are small structures that translate genetic information into proteins that are used both inside and outside of the cell.The human body contains approximately 100 billion neurons with cell bodies ranging in size from 6-8 pm to 80 pm in diameter (Kandel, 1991).Researchers have divided neurons into three main categories based on function: sensory neurons, motor neurons, and interneurons.The nucleus is considered the “brain” of the cell and contains all of the genetic material (i.e., DNA and chromosomes) for cell maintenance.Metabolic activities for the cell occur in the mitochondria, the “powerhouse” of the cell.Myelin is formed by Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and oligodendrocytes in the CNS.Although the function of the myelin is the same in both nervous systems, increasing the speed of the signal down the axon, the manner in which Schwann cells and oligodendrocytes form myelin is very different.Dendritic spines are instrumental in the communication between neurons by receiving many input signals from other cells.In fact, primates housed in enriched environments have an increased number of dendritic spines compared to those who were not housed in enriched environments (Kozorovitskiy et al., 2005).


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