About Neurotransmitters and Action Potentials
Everything we do relies on communicating with one another. Electrical impulses and chemical signals carrying messages across different parts of the and between the brain and the rest of the .
When a is activated a small difference in electrical charge occurs. This unbalanced charge is called an action potential and is caused by the concentration of ions (atoms or molecules with unbalanced charges) across the . The action potential travels very quickly along the , like when a line of dominoes falls.
When the action potential reaches the end of an , most release a chemical message (a ) which crosses the and binds to on the receiving ‘s and starts the process over again. At the end of the line, a neurotransmitter may stimulate a different kind of (like a cell), or may trigger a new chain of messages.
send chemical messages between . Mental illnesses, such as , can occur when this process does not work correctly. Communication between neurons can also be electrical, such as in areas of the that control movement. When electrical signals are abnormal, they can cause or symptoms found in ‘s disease.