• Submitted By: chungy
  • Date Submitted: 04/05/2015 1:51 PM
  • Category: Science
  • Words: 1559
  • Page: 7

Chemistry and Synaptic Transmitters

The most common psychoactive substances can be divided into
depressants (i.e., alcohol, sedatives, hypnotics), stimulants (i.e.,
cocaine, amphetamines, ecstasy), opioids (i.e., morphine and heroine),
and hallucinogens (i.e., PCP, LSD, cannabis). The brain has different
effects to different psychoactive substances. They bind to different
receptor types, and can increase or decrease the activity of neurons
through several different mechanisms. Consequently, these
psychoactive substances have different behavioral effects, different
rates of development of tolerance, different withdrawal symptoms, and
different short-term and long-term effects (Vaccarino & Rotzinger,

In this team project we will take a closer look at the
hallucinogen, LSD by explaining the chemistry and route of access of
LSD, synaptic transmitters and the parts of neurons affected,
inhibitory/excitatory potential changes, physiological changes, primary
behavior changes, side effects of behavior changes, and effects
reported by users.

LSD is considered to be one of, if not the, most potent
hallucinogenic drug known (Leicht, 1996). To understand LSD first we
will give a brief history of how LSD came into existence.

In 1938, Albert Hoffman was an employee in the pharmacological
department of Sandoz, in Basel, Switzerland. Hoffman was studying
derivatives of lysergic acid, including systematically reacting the acid
group with various reagents, to produce the corresponding amides,
anhydrides, esters, etc. One of these derivatives was the
diethylamide, made by addition of the –NC2H5)2 group, and it was
named LSD-25. But the new substance didn’t appear to have any
particularly useful medical properties, although the research report
noted, in passing, that “the experimental animals became restless
during the narcosis”. (May, 1998). LSD was not looked at for the next
five years until Hoffman...

Similar Essays