Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Neurotransmitters associated with sleep mnemonic

Neurotransmitters associated with sleep mnemonic

S- Serotonin: helps initiate sleep cycle and promotes wakefulness.
A- Acetylcholine: levels are higher during REM sleep.
N- Norepinephrine: levels are lower during REM sleep.
D- Dopamine: high levels responsible for arousal and wakefulness.

- The regulation of levels of Acetylcholine and Norepinephrine is an important biochemical trigger for REM sleep. Higher levels of Ach and lower levels of NE means there is increase in the time period of Rapid eye movement phase of sleep cycle.

- Serotoninergic neurons are present in Distal Raphe nuclei which enhances wakefulness. Thats why the 5-HT activity decreases during NREM sleep and becomes silent during REM phase.

- Dopamine agonists, such as  bromocriptine, pramipexole and others are used to treat parkinson's disease which work by acting on dopamine receptors and compensate for the lack of dopamine which the brain cells no longer produce. They are used together with levodopa. By increasing dopamine levels they restore the balance of Acetylcholine and dopamine thus increasing wakefulness.

- Antipsychotic drugs are dopamine antagonists. So they decrease wakefulness and increase sleep time of a person.

- Higher levels of Ach during REM sleep is associated with erections in men.

Thats all
- Jaskunwar Singh

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