Some key words to help you better understand medications for mental disorders.
Neurotransmission, also called synaptic transmission, is the process by which signaling molecules called neurotransmitters are released by a neuron (the presynaptic neuron), and bind to and activate the receptors of another neuron (the postsynaptic neuron). Neurotransmission usually takes place at asynapse, and occurs when an action potential is initiated in the presynaptic neuron.
Reuptake inhibitor (RI), also known as a transporter blocker, is a drug that inhibits the transporter-mediated reuptake of a neurotransmitter from the synapse into the pre-synaptic neuron, leading to an increase in the extra cellular concentrations of the neurotransmitter and therefore an increase in neurotransmission.
Agonist is a chemical that binds to a receptor of a cell and triggers a response by that cell.
Agonists often mimic the action of a naturally occurring substance.
Antagonist blocks the action of the agonist.
Inverse agonist is an agent that binds to the same receptor as an agonist but induces a pharmacological response opposite to that agonist.
Hyper- means over, excessive, more than normal
Hypo-, on the other hand, means under, defective or inadequate
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