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Neurotransmitters are usually called the chemical messengers of the human body. They are the molecules that the nervous system uses to transmit messages between nerves, or from neurons to muscles.

There is communication between two neurons in the synaptic cleft (the small gap between neuron synapses). Here, electrical signals traveling along the axon are converted by releasing hormones into chemical ones, causing a specific response in the receiving neuron.

A neurotransmitter influences a neuron in one of three ways: excitatory, inhibitory or modulatory.

What are Excitatory Neurotransmitter Systems

An excitatory transmitter encourages the generation of an electrical signal called the receiving neuron’s action potential, while it is prevented by an inhibitory transmitter. Neuromodulators are somewhat different, as they are not limited to the synaptic cleft between two neurons, and at the same time, they can affect huge numbers of neurons.

Therefore, neuromodulators modulate neuron populations while also performing a slower course of agonisation than exciting and inhibitory transmitters. The majority of neurotransmitters are small atoms of amines, amino acids, or neuropeptides.

There are about a dozen known small-molecule neurotransmitters and more than one hundred distinct neuropeptides, and more about these chemical messengers are still being found by neuroscientists. These compounds and their interactions are involved in countless nervous system functions as well as controlling physiological functions.

The Primary Neurotransmitters of the Human Body


A small molecule known as acetylcholine was the first neurotransmitter to be found. It plays an important role in the peripheral nervous system, where it is published by the autonomic nervous system’s motor neurons and neurons. It also has an important part to play in maintaining cognitive function in the central nervous system.


Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA)

Conversely, a major inhibitory transmitter is its own derivative ╬│-aminobutyric acid (GABA), while another inhibitory neurotransmitter is that the amino acid called glycine, that is mainly located at the spinal cord.


Many neuromodulators are monoamines, for example dopamine. Your mind has lots of dopamine pathways and this neurotransmitter is involved in several functions such as motor control, reward and reinforcement, and motivation. Noradrenaline (or norepinephrine) is just another monoamine and is the main neurotransmitter in the sympathetic nervous system in which it works on the action of different organs in the human body to control blood pressure, heart rate, liver function and various functions.

Neurons which use serotonin (another monoamine) endeavor to several parts of the nervous system. Consequently, dopamine is involved in functions like sleep, memory, appetite, mood and many others. It’s also produced from the gastrointestinal tract in response to meals.

Histamine, the last of the major monoamines, plays a role in, among other functions, metabolism, temperature control, regulation of different hormones, and control of the adrenal cycle.

References: https://qbi.uq.edu.au/brain/brain-physiology/what-are-neurotransmitters