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Summary: New discovery could provide new opportunities for the treatment of depression and addiction. Source: Aarhus University.
When nerve cells have to communicate with each other in our brains, it involves release of small signal molecules, the so-called neurotransmitters, which act as chemical messengers in specific points of contact between nerve cells, called synapses. Here the released neurotransmitter is bound and registered by receptors at the surface of the receiving nerve cell. This will, in turn, trigger a signal which is sent on to other nerve cells. The circuits in the brain using the neurotransmitters noradrenaline, dopamine, GABA and serotonin are known to play an important role in mood, reward and mental well-being, and they also have a key role to in mental disorders such as addiction and depression.