Blausen Medical
Blausen Medical

Blausen Medical

Medically accurate and informative 3D animations



The brain is composed of millions of interconnecting nerve cells called neurons. In order for a person to think, move, or feel, these neurons must communicate with one another. They do so by sending and receiving chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. Normally, large amounts of neurotransmitters are released from a neuron, where they cross a gap called a synapse and bind to receptors on another neuron, thus passing on a signal. Neurons not only release neurotransmitters, but they also take back, or recycle, some of these chemicals for later use through a reuptake pump. The available amount of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, play an important role in mental and physical health. The brain reacts to things like stress, tension and anxiety. This may cause the neurotransmitter chemical amounts to become unbalanced, resulting in mental illness. In this case, when a signal is sent there are not enough neurotransmitters produced or released to transmit a strong signal. Low amounts of serotonin and norepinephrine are related to depression and sadness. Psychotropic medications, also known as psychiatric medications, are useful in the treatment of mental illness, and can include drugs such as: • Antidepressants • Stimulants • Antipsychotics • and Benzodiazepines Psychotropic drugs work by changing the amounts of one or more of the neurotransmitters in the brain. This can be done by stopping or increasing their actions. For example, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, or SSRIs, are used to treat depression. These drugs slow down or stop the process of serotonin being re used by the neurons by blocking the reuptake pumps. By decreasing the amount of serotonin that is recycled, an increased amount of serotonin remains in the gap. This allows more serotonin to be available in order to pass on the next signal between the neurons. When the amount of serotonin in the brain is normal, symptoms of depression and anxiety may go away. The prescribing and monitoring of psychotropics is complex and requires assessment of many different aspects of a patient's history and current symptoms. Because these drugs are designed to work differently, side effects associated with each may be different, but may include sexual dysfunction. Recovery from serious disorders such as depression can often take weeks or months, therefore it is important to follow dosing instructions closely.

Duration: 03:04
Licence: All rights reserved
Original Language: English
Published: 11/19/2015
Diseases and Conditions: Depression / Neuron diseases
Format: 3D Animation

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