NURS 6630 Discussion Chemical Neurotransmission

NURS 6630 Discussion Chemical Neurotransmission

NURS 6630 Discussion Chemical Neurotransmission

Neuroscience is the scientific study of the human central nervous system to understand the brain’s dysfunction that can lead to disease, mental disorders, and physical impairment (Karmarkar & Plassmann, 2019). The complex design of a neuron is the basic understanding of communication by sending impulses to other body organs. The brain controls human behavior and the functions of body organs. The anatomy and physiology of the brain help understand the part of the brain affected by mental illness. For example, poor concentration and cognitive skills dysfunction is the forebrain pathology. Additionally, one can understand the mode of action of psychopharmacology. For example, antidepressants may function by inhibiting the serotonin or epinephrine receptors.

An Agonist-To-Antagonist Spectrum of Action and How Partial and Inverse Agonists Influence Psychopharmacologic

An antagonist binds at the receptors by blocking any event of an agonist, hence, blocking the biological response. For example, naloxone is a competitive opioid antagonist and has no effects with opioid co-administration (Gicquelais, et al, 2019). An agonist binds to a receptor causing activation of the receptor, hence, the biological response. A partial agonist activates the receptors partially with lesser effect on the brain. For example, buprenorphine is a partial agonist, and therefore, an antagonist may block its opioid function without activating its receptors. An inverse receptor binds with constitutively active receptors and inhibits receptor activity by exerting opposite pharmacological effects that suppress spontaneous receptor signaling.

Comparison between Actions of G Couple Proteins and Ion Gated Channels

G coupled proteins GPCRs are integral membrane proteins that convert extracellular responses to hormones, neurotransmitters, olfaction, and taste signals. The GPCRs work by binding to the hormones, neurotransmitters, and growth factors to initiate a cellular response. The three types of G-couple receptors are alpha, beta, and gamma, in which the ligands bind and activate (Yudin & Rohacs 2019). Ion gated channels are integral membrane proteins of excitable cells that allow a flux of ions to pass only under defined circumstances. These channels are voltage-gated sodium channel neurons and ligand-dated acetylcholine receptors of the cholinergic synapses. The ion gated channel pull and bonds to the agonist changing the protein while g coupled proteins are used by the cells to convert intracellular signals into responses.

The Role of Epigenetics In the Pharmacologic Action

Epigenetics regulate gene activity by switching off the gene activity or activating the gene activity. Epigenetics plays a role in the phenotypic activity of the cell in diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Epigenetics modify gene expressions after drug administration to counteract the disease states in humans. Epigenetics proves its effectiveness in treating psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders to its ability to modify gene expressions.

The Significance of the Information to Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

A psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner should have basic knowledge of the concepts of foundational neuroscience. Understanding the function of agonists, inverse and partial agonists, and antagonists prevent co-administration of drugs that agonize and antagonize the same receptors. For example, in treating a patient with a depressive mood disorder, prescribing antipsychotics such as fluphenazine worsens the depressive mood because it antagonizes the dopaminergic D1 and D2 receptors depressing the release of the hypothalamic hormone.


Gicquelais, R. E., Bohnert, A. S., Thomas, L., & Foxman, B. (2020). Opioid agonist and antagonist use and the gut microbiota: associations among people in addiction treatment. Scientific reports10(1), 1-11.

Karmarkar, U. R., & Plassmann, H. (2019). Consumer neuroscience: Past, present, and future. Organizational Research Methods22(1), 174-195.

Yudin, Y., & Rohacs, T. (2019). The G‐protein‐biased agents PZM21 and TRV130 are partial agonists of μ‐opioid receptor‐mediated signalling to ion channels. British journal of pharmacology176(17), 3110-3125.

As a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, it is essential for you to have a strong background in foundational neuroscience. In order to diagnose and treat clients, you must not only understand the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders, but also how medications for these disorders impact the central nervous system. These concepts of foundational neuroscience can be challenging to understand. Therefore, this Discussion is designed to encourage you to think through these concepts, develop a rationale for your thinking, and deepen your understanding by interacting with your colleagues.

Required Readings

Note: All Stahl resources can be accessed through the Library using this link. This link will take you to a log-in page for the Library. Once you log into the library, the Stahl website will appear.

Stahl, S. M. (2013). Stahl’s essential psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific basis and practical applications (4th ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press *Preface, pp. ix–x

Note: To access the following chapters, click on the Essential Psychopharmacology, 4th ed tab on the Stahl Online website and select the appropriate chapter. Be sure to read all sections on the left navigation bar for each chapter.

Chapter 1, “Chemical Neurotransmission”

Chapter 2, “Transporters, Receptors, and Enzymes as Targets of Psychopharmacologic Drug Action”

Chapter 3, “Ion Channels as Targets of Psychopharmacologic Drug Action”

Document: Midterm Exam Study Guide (PDF)

Document: Final Exam Study Guide (PDF)

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2016i). Introduction to psychopharmacology [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 3 minutes.

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Optional Resources

Laureate Education (Producer). (2009). Pathopharmacology: Disorders of the nervous system: Exploring the human brain [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

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NURS 6630 Discussion Chemical Neurotransmission

NURS 6630 Discussion Chemical Neurotransmission

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 15 minutes.

Dr. Myslinski reviews the structure and function of the human brain. Using human brains, he examines and illustrates the development of the brain and areas impacted by disorders associated with the brain.

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Laureate Education (Producer). (2012). Introduction to advanced pharmacology [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 8 minutes.

In this media presentation, Dr. Terry Buttaro, associate professor of practice at Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences, discusses the importance of pharmacology for the advanced practice nurse.

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To prepare for this Discussion:

Review this week’s Learning Resources.

Reflect on concepts of foundational neuroscience.