In this three-hour primer on neurotransmission, we develop students' knowledge of neurochemistry in typical and atypical brain function. The tutorial will benefit students reading neuroscience, psychology, pharmacology and medicine.
The first third of this tutorial explores the chemical nature of neurotransmitter and neuromodulator families, explaining their production, storage, release and degradation in health and disease. We delve into modern theories and research such as Saburava's (2017) work on human APP gene expression in the active zone and spontaneous neurotransmitter release, and Aguilar's (2017) findings that depolarisation can increase dopamine synaptic vesicle loading via glutamate-mediated hyperacidification. The middle section of the tutorial recounts how neurotransmitters are involved in cognitive function and how, by employing 'knock-out' gene models, we can examine the effects of deactivating mechanisms such as that controlling synaptic vesicle endocytosis. We also review excitatory amino acid transmission in long term potentiation and synaptic plasticity. In the final part of the tutorial, we consider the roles of neurotransmitters and receptors in nociception and in disorders and diseases such as ischaemic stroke, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, schizophrenia, amyotropic lateral sclerosis, and epilepsy.
For further information and a programme, please email Dr Guy Sutton at the address in the footer below.