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Picture of the serotonin
Serotonin is normally involved in temperature regulation, sensory perception, and mood control. However, it plays a major role in emotional disorders such as depression, suicide, impulsive behavior, and aggression.

The hallucinogenic drug LSD acts on serotonin receptors; so do some antidepressant drugs.

Picture of the norepinephrine
Norepinephrine, also called noradrenaline is a neurotransmitter that doubles part-time as a hormone. As a neurotransmitter, norepinephrine helps to regulate arousal, dreaming, and moods. As a hormone, it acts to increase blood pressure, constrict blood vessels and increase heart rate - responses that occur when we feel stress.
Picture of the acetylchline
Acetylcholine is released where nerves meet muscles and is therefore responsible for muscle contraction. After acetylcholine stimulates its receptors, it is quickly inactivated and destroyed by an enzyme. Drugs that keep this enzyime from working are used to treat myasthenia gravis, a disease of muscle weakness and fatigue.
Picture of the glutamate  Picture of the Gaba
Glutamate and GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid) are amino acids that act as neurotransmitters. The majority of synapses within the brain use glutamate or GABA. They also have other functions in the body such as making energy-rich molecules in cells.

The fact that GABA and glutamate are so widely present makes it likely that they will be altered during drug addiction. This also makes it difficult to treat addiction with drug therapy without causing side effects.


For more information, call or write to:

Addiction Science Research and Education Center
College of Pharmacy
The University of Texas
Austin, TX 78712
(512) 471-5198

*Copyright-protected. These sections cannot be printed or down-loaded without permission of the Director: Carlton Erickson, Director
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