πŸ’Š Effects of drugs on the nervous system

Many chemicals can interfere with nervous transmission in a variety of different ways. We’ll be looking at the effects of nicotine found in tobacco, lidocaine used as an anaesthetic, and cobra venom transmitted via bites.

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Nicotine is absorbed in the lungs and travels through blood to the brain, where it behaves as acetylcholine, resulting in binding to its respective receptors. This results in a stimulant effect which is the cause of its high addictive potential. Symptoms can be highly subjective, but usually fall under relaxation, sharpness and calmness.

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Lidocaine can be applied topically to the skin via a patch or cream, as well as injected. It can numb specific areas and acts as a painkiller, hence is used as an anaesthetic in surgery, dental work, etc. It works by blocking voltage-gated Na+ ion channels, hence preventing the depolarisation of the post-synaptic neurone. No pain signals can be transmitted to the brain because no signals are…