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nucleus basalis of Meynert

nucleus basalis of Meynert


If I had to pick a favorite neurotransmitter, I would have to pick acetylcholine (ACh).  As a matter of fact, I did. I ordered a custom-made necklace featuring my three favorite neurotransmitters – and ACh was the first in line.

The others?  Well, since you are interested — dopamine and serotonin.  And I always wear this necklace, these days.

Some ancient cultures have worshipped the herb rosemary as a symbol of memory. Me, I much prefer the molecule at my neck which, in addition to its well-known role at the neuromuscular end plate, where it translates neural impulses into motor contraction, is also essential for memory.

That teensy little nucleus basalis of Meynert, which looked kind of blue-gray when last I saw it on the front of a cadaver’s brainstem – and pretty faded when Alzheimer’s is present– has gone and given up a few of its secrets.

Let’s go to an epidemiologic mess, such as Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and all of its subtypes and such, most of which I think are artifacts and do not exist — although (mostly untrained) adults often attribute them to children who annoy them.

A lot of these kids have anticholinerases (read: organophosphates ), originally meant for insecticides and Nazi nerve gases, inside them. Same with people with Alzheimer’s.

So I’m not just some “know-it-all” – I’m a one-woman  ACh fan club.  And this I swear on whatever Holy document you wish – I even dressed up as a Choline molecule TWICE for Halloween.  Once before I met my husband, and then again – because he wanted to see how cuddly a molecule could look –- again a few years ago.  He called me his “Choline Cutie.”

Of course, I was not built to scale – being somewhere near 300 lbs. when I dressed that way.  But the placement of the atoms was absolutely perfect.

ACh was the first neurotransmitter discovered – back in the 1920s — so I think it is about time it got recognition.

Anyone want to join the fan club?

Necklace featuring molecules of neurotransmitters

... or the psychopharmacology expert.

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