How Do Neurons Transmit Information?

Neurons transmit information through neurotransmitters, molecules that are released from one neuron and travel to another to produce a response. Several neurotransmitters, both inhibitory and excitatory, have been studied extensively. Neurotransmitters that are commonly discussed are GABA, seratonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine.

Three examples of inhibitory neurons are seratonin, GABA and dopamine. Seratonin regulates several areas of the brain and nervous system, including sleep cycle, mood and pain management. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is often released in response to the release of an excess of excitatory neurotransmitters.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is considered both inhibitory and excitatory. Excess or limited amounts of dopamine in the brain has been linked to issues with memory and motivation. Dopamine is released from the action of stimulants. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that is a precursor to epinephrine. In excess, this neurotransmitter can bring on feelings of anxiety. In limited amounts, the same neurotransmitter can cause problems with sleep and focus as well as low energy.

Epinephrine is a neurotransmitter that regulates blood pressure and heart rate. Long-term episodes of stress or insomnia may cause depletion of this neurotransmitter. In addition to being classified as excitatory or inhibitory, a neurotransmitter may be known as small molecule or neuropeptide.