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UOttawa - PSY 2301 - Class Notes - Week 7

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UOttawa - PSY 2301 - Class Notes - Week 7

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background image Neurotransmitter Systems and Behaviour  - Case Study: Parkinson’s Disease    
Central Nervous System  
- Activating System   - Neural pathways that coordinate brain activity through a single 
- Cell bodies are located in a nucleus in the brainstem and their axons are 
distributed widely through the brain 
- Four systems   - Cholinergic, Dopaminergic, Noradrenergic, and Serotonergic    
background image    
Dopamine is implicated in many behaviours 
- Learning  - Problem-solving  - Attention  - Motivation  - Sexuality  - Sleep  - Hallucinations  - Movement  - Etc…   
Neurotransmitter Systems and Behaviour: CNS 
- Parkinson’s Disease  - Degenerative brain disorder characterized by tremor, rigidity, slowed 
- Death of DA-producing cells within substantial nigra   - Ultimate cause unknown: 
background image - Genetic?  - Environmental toxin?  - Not the cause but could be a trigger  - “Genetics loads the gun, the environment pulls the trigger”   - Analogous cases: MPTP-MPP (see textbook)  - No cure as of yet, only the ability to “slow down” the disease and make 
things easier for those who have it 
- Treating the symptoms not curing the disease   - Despite a common site of damage symptoms vary enormously among 
- Many symptoms resemble the changes in motor activity and cognition that 
take place as a consequence of aging  
Positive symptoms  - Tremor at rest  - Muscular rigidity (increased muscle tone)  - Involuntary movements   Negative symptoms   - Disorders of posture   - Disorders of righting (e.g., standing up)  - Disorders of locomotion  - Difficulty initiating movement   - Slow, but…  - Festination: tendency to engage in a behaviour, such as walking, at faster 
and faster speeds  
- Speech disturbances (e.g., loss of prosody)  - Akinesia/bradykinesia (poverty or slowness of movement)  - Bradyphrenia (slowness of thinking)   Cognitive symptoms (beyond bradyphrenia)  - Memory  - Problem-solving  - Attention   - Language   - Visual perception    
No Cure, But treatment can Slow the Decline  
Pharmacological treatments 
- Increasing the activity in whatever dopamine synapses remain  
background image - L-Dopa, a precursor of dopamine, is converted to dopamine in the brain 
and enhances effective dopamine transmission 
- Anticholinergic drugs  - Block the cholinergic systems that seem to show heightened activity in the 
absence of adequate dopamine activity  
Placebo Effects!? 
- There can be significant and substantial placebo effects   Parkinson’s Disease  - Surgery  - A lesion of the internal part of the globus pallidus (GPi) can reduce rigidity 
and tremor  
- Hyperactivity of GPi neurons can also be reduced neurosurgically by 
electrically stimulating the neurons via deep brain stimulation  
Neurosurgical Treatments  - Deep brain stimulation (DBS)   - Neurosurgery in which one or more electrodes implanted in the brain 
stimulate a targeted area with a low-voltage electrical current to facilitate 
behavioural change 
- It is not a permanent cure: when the stimulation stops, beneficial effects 
are reduced  

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School: The University of Ottawa
Department: OTHER
Course: Biological Foundations of Behaviour
Professor: Patrick Davidson
Term: Spring 2018
Tags: Psychology and Biological Psychology
Name: PSY 2301 - Class notes Feb 28, Mar 02
Description: These are the notes taken in class on February 28th and March 02nd.
Uploaded: 03/11/2018
16 Pages 25 Views 20 Unlocks
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