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How does cocaine effect the synapse?

Blocks Dopamine Reuptake Transporters by clogging receptors


What causes the addictive euphoric/pleasurable effects of cocaine?

Dopamine which has accumulated in the synapse due to inhibited reuptake overstimulates the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system


What is Cocaine?

A CNS Stimulant which increases neural and behavioral activity and boost energy temporarily


The effects of cocaine resemble those exerted by which nervous system?

Sympathetic Nervous System


What are some Physical and Psychological effects of Cocaine?

Increased loco motor activity, heart rate, temperature, and blood glucose
Pupil dilation
Euphoria, racing thoughts, reduced appetite


What effect do drugs have on the mesocroticolimbic dopamine system?

Supraphysiological dopamine - dopamine release much larger than that caused by normal rewarding stimuli
This hijacks the reward system causing the brain to over prioritize behavior and stimuli associated with the drug


What are the effects of dopamine released to the Nucleus Accumbens (NAc)?

Feelings of subjective pleasure


What are the effects of dopamine released to the Hippocampus?

Learned association between rewarding feeling and stimuli


What are the effects of dopamine released to the PFC?

Cognitive control necessary to seek/avoid the stimulus


What are the pathways of the Mesocorticolimbic Reward System?

Neurons in the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) containing Dopamine project their axons to the Hippocampus, Nucleus Accumbens (NAc), and Prefrontal Cortex (PFC)


What is Intracranial Self-Stimulation (ICSS)

A rat is fitted with an electrode in certain parts of the brain which can be stimulated by a lever, when placed in certain areas the rat will press the lever endlessly, ignoring other rewarding stimuli, until it becomes exhausted or needs to be forcefully removed


What is Reward and why does it exist?

Stimuli that are in some way desirable and can affect behavior

Designed to motivate animals to engage in life-sustaining endeavors such as reproduction, eating, and maintaining social relationships


The DSM-5 characterizes Substance Abuse Disorder as maladaptive pattern of use that has led to subjective distress for a year as well as at least 2 of what six symptoms?

1. Substance use results in failure to fulfill obligations
2. Spend a great deal of time trying to obtain the drug
3. Legal problems associated with drug
4. Craving
5. Tolerance
6. Withdrawal


How do drugs effect Homeostasis?

1. Brain normally exists in a state of drug free homeostasis
2. Taking drugs lead to an imbalance
3. Compensatory adaptations attempt to restore homeostasis


What is addiction?

Uncontrolled drug use that persists in spite of negative consequences


What is Tolerance?

Increase in dose required to obtain desired effects of drug


What is Withdrawal?

Physical and psychological behaviors that are displayed by an addict after drug use ends


What is Substance Use?

Occasional, moderate use of a substance which does not interfere with everyday life


What is Substance Abuse?

When use of a substance significantly interferes with everyday life functions


What is Substance Dependence?

Physiological and psychological dependence on a substance - resulting in tolerance and withdrawal


What is a Psychoactive Drug?

Substances which act to alter mood, thought, cognition or behavior


What is a CNS depressant?

A psychoactive drug which suppresses mental functions and at low doses results in calming effects but at high doses results in intoxication

Alcohol, Anxiolytic, Opiates


What is a CNS Stimulant?

A drug which stimulates arousal and gives a boost in energy and clarity

Amphetamine, Cocaine, Caffeine, Nicotine


What is a Hallucinogen?

A drug which disturbs ones sense of reality

MDMA, LSD, Marijuana


What compensatory actions lead to Cocaine tolerance?

1. Some Dopamine receptors on the postsynaptic terminal are removed

2. Dopamine release is reduced from the presynaptic terminal


What is Anhedonia?

Inability to feel pleasure


What does the Dopamine Hypothesis of Schizophrenia suggest?

That the symptoms of schizophrenia rise due to excessive amounts of dopamine


Hyperactivity and Hypoactivity of which connections effecting dopamine release are involved in Schizophrenia?

Hyperactivity of the mesolimbic connections (VTA-NAc and VTA-Hippo) result in over stimulation of D2 receptors resulting in Positive symptoms

Hypoactivity of the Mesocortical connections (VTA-PFC) result in under stimulation of D1 receptors resulting in Negative and Cognitive symptoms


Enlargement of what brain structures suggests that there is a change in cellular makeup, density, or organization of the Schizophrenic brain which is being replaced by CSF?

Enlarged Ventricles


The Schizophrenic brain tends to have reduced brain volume in which areas and what symptoms are a result of this?

Frontal and Temporal Lobe - Cognitive and Language Deficits

Basal Ganglia - Reduced Emotional Control and Motoric Changes

Hippocampus - Learning and Memory Deficits