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Studies and Additional Information


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13 Week Study Using beCALM'd
Reduction of the effects of prolonged stress
 
Increase in the effectiveness of the dietary supplement beCALM'd
with the addition of folic acid
   
Battling the Benzo's
Ending dependency
   
Study on Relapse Prevention
   
Reducing Withdrawals from Benzodiazepines
   
New Insights Into the Causes of Alcoholism
   
A Practical Look at Brain Chemistry and Addictions
 

Neurotransmitters

Communication of information between neurons is accomplished by movement of chemicals across a small gap called the synapse. Chemicals, called neurotransmitters, are released from one neuron at the presynaptic nerve terminal. Neurotransmitters then cross the synapse where they may be accepted by the next neuron at a specialized site called a receptor. The action that follows activation of a receptor site may be either depolarization (an excitatory postsynaptic potential) or hyperpolarization (an inhibitory postsynaptic potential). A depolarization makes it MORE likely that an action potential will fire; a hyperpolarization makes it LESS likely that an action potential will fire.

A neurotransmitter is the smallest of the informational molecules that transmits an impulse from one nerve cell to one or more neighboring cells across a junction called a synapse. Neurotransmitters are stored in vesicles (little containers) at the ends of neurons. When these neurotransmitters reach the receptors of other neurons, a complex cascade of effects may result, such as increased heart rate, changes in mood, perception, and thought.

Neurotransmitters can also affect the sensitivity of neurons, making them more or less reactive to impulses.

The brain has a limited quantity of any neurotransmitter available at any given time. After having been released for use and having completed its task, the neurotransmitter is rapidly destroyed or recycled and stored for later use. If neurotransmission were not limited in this way, the brain might race out of control, virtually burning itself out. Because neurotransmitters must be made ongoing, the brain must continually renew its supply of raw materials, such as amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, which it needs for manufacturing more neurotransmitters as well as the fuel (i.e., glucose and oxygen) that it needs to function and the antioxidants that it needs for protection.

If neurotransmitter precursors, the raw materials from which we make these vital nervous system messengers, are in short supply, problems in perception, behavior, cognition, and mood will result. Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are the most important of the neurotransmitter precursors. The brain uses some of the unaltered amino acids as neurotransmitters, directly. Glutamate, aspartate, and glycine are three such amino acids. It builds other neurotransmitters by altering the amino acids slightly and/or combining them with other substances.

An example:

In order to make the dopamine and norepinephrine, two neurotransmitters that may be deficient in some children, the brain must have adequate supplies of amino acids, vitamin B6, and iron. If a child does not take in and properly absorb these nutrients, he or she will not have what is needed to make enough dopamine and norepinephrine.

  1. The amino acid tyrosine is found in the nerve cells of the brain.

  2. Tyrosine is transformed into L-dopa only in the presence of enzymes, folic acid, niacin (vitamin B3), and iron.

  3. L-dopa is changed into dopamine in the presence of vitamin B6.

  4. Norepinephrine is finally made with the assistance of vitamin C.

As the above example illustrates, proteins alone are not sufficient. A host of cofactors are critical in a child's diet in order to manufacture the proper brain chemicals and structures that support optimal mood, cognition, and behavior.

Some neurotransmitters:

  • Dopamine

  • Acetylcholine

  • Norepinephrine

  • Serotonin

Source: "Neurotransmitters for Kids"; Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D.; University of Washington; Seattle, Washington 98195-6540
Descriptions taken from the University of Washington Research Center

 


Inactivation of Neurotransmitters

The action of neurotransmitters can be stopped by four different mechanisms

1. Diffusion: the neurotransmitter drifts away, out of the synaptic cleft where it can no longer act on a receptor. Diffusion
2. Enzymatic degradation (deactivation): a specific enzyme changes the structure of the neurotransmitter so it is not recognized by the receptor. For example, acetylcholinesterase is the enzyme that breaks acetylcholine into choline and acetate. Enzymatic degradation
3. Glial cells: astrocytes remove neurotransmitters from the synaptic cleft. Astrocyte
Image courtesy of Biodidac
4. Reuptake: the whole neurotransmitter molecule is taken back into the axon terminal that released it. This is a common way the action of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin is stopped...these neurotransmitters are removed from the synaptic cleft so they cannot bind to receptors. Reuptake

 

Source: Jeffrey Bruno, Ph.D.; Peninsula Child & Youth Assessment Clinics; 80 Eureka Square, Suite 215; Pacifica, CA 94044

 

 

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The information provided on the pages of this web site are intended as information only and are not a substitute for diagnosis and treatment by a physician or health care provider. The ideas and information on these pages are designed to help you make informed decisions about your health. This information is provided for your nutritional and lifestyle educational purposes only, and is not meant to be relied upon as diagnostic information, recommendations or suggestions for health concerns and medical treatment. If you have a health concern, please seek advise from a physician or health care provider specialized in your area of concern. NeuroGenesis products are nutritional supplements and are covered under the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), and as such are not evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

IMPORTANT: Nutritional supplements work best in conjunction with a healthy diet. Optimal health does not happen overnight, but requires a building process. Please be faithful to yourself and to your body by taking NeuroGenesis products on a regular, on-going basis.