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Neurotransmitters et

The names and functions of neurotransmitters

Adenosine During waking hours, this nucleoside accumulates around neurons, making you feel weary. Caffeine is chemically similar to adenosine, which is why chugging Red Bull blocks its receptors.
Vasopressin The molecular cousin of oxytocin—a brain chemical that many scientists believe boosts feelings of trust and love, as well as learning, memory, aggression, and, some claim, monogamy.
GABA/Glycine These two chemicals are involved in neuronal inhibition—stopping other neurons from firing to keep the entire system from racing out of control.
Substance P This peptide transmits the message of pain through the spinal cord, helping you quickly jerk your hand away from hot stuff.
Anandamide Named after the Sanskrit word for bliss. Scientists suspected this trippy chemical’s existence before they discovered it—they noticed that THC triggered certain specialized brain receptors.
Glutamate Dopamine and serotonin hog all the attention in drug commercials, but they’re relatively rare—few brain cells release them. Scientists estimate that more than half of all neurons use glutamate to communicate with other neurons.
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