Glossary

alternative splicing A way in which different portions of a gene are put together to yield more than a single protein.

analgesic A substance capable of relieving pain without interfering with other sensations.

endorphins Peptides naturally present in the brain with morphinelike actions. They function by activating a family of opioid receptors, which are also responsible for the effects of drugs such as morphine, methadone, and heroin.

opiates Compounds acting on the opioid receptors. Initially defined by their pharmacological similarity to morphine and other analgesic alkaloids present in opium, a product of the poppy plant.

respiratory depression A decrease in breathing.

The opiates, initially derived from opium obtained from the poppy plant, have opened new insights into many aspects of functioning of the brain. The opiates have been used since ancient times and represent one of the most important classes of medications currently in use. In ancient times, opium and extracts of opium were primarily used, although opium also was smoked. Morphine and codeine were isolated and purified from opium in the 1800s, providing physicians with a pure drug with a constant level of activity. Since then, thousands of analogs have been developed in an effort avoid side effects. The structures of these agents vary greatly: however, they share many pharmacological properties.

Anxiety and Depression 101

Anxiety and Depression 101

Everything you ever wanted to know about. We have been discussing depression and anxiety and how different information that is out on the market only seems to target one particular cure for these two common conditions that seem to walk hand in hand.

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