Indiana University Week 3 Functions of Glutamate Response Please do Db 4, dB 5, and Db 6. Please ignore D1, Db 2, and DB . Attachment below Reply: DB1: 200 words without references page include. 2-3 references APA format
Glutamate is an amino acid and a neurotransmitter that is made by the body (Stahl, 2013). Glutamate
can also be found in certain foods that we eat. One of the functions of glutamate is to assist in brain
development, specifically learning and memory (Konkel, 2017). When it functions as a neurotransmitter,
glutamate is classified as being excitatory instead of inhibitory because it typically will create an action
potential, which involves a signal reaching a certain threshold or strength to carry the signal to other
neurons (What are Excitatory Neurotransmitters, 2019). With inhibitory neurotransmitters achieving an
action potential is less likely. The neurotransmitter is then carried across a membrane to the next
neuron by way of a transporter. This transporter is a protein that binds to the neurotransmitter and
allows it to be permeable through the membrane of the neuron. Glutamate is very abundant in the
nervous system but imbalances can cause issues. Such imbalances have been linked to possible causes
of depression, specifically when glutamate levels are low and GABA levels are high (Glutamate’s Role in
Depression and Anxiety, 2017). On the flip side when glutamate levels are high and GABA levels are low
there are possible links to anxiety (Glutamate’s Role in Depression and Anxiety, 2017). When
considering medications that people may take, it is known that certain medications target particular
neurotransmitters while others like glutamate are not targeted by any know medications (Stahl, 2013).
That is a consideration to make when you learn certain roles of certain neurotransmitters. It is
important not to impact a balance or function that will impact the patient and at the same time if
certain medications are not targeting glutamate but there are links to certain mental illnesses based on
levels or dysfunction of the transport of glutamate, then alternatives have to be considered for
interventions. There are also theories that exist that suggest that when glutamate receptors
malfunction, the potential impact of this could be linked to symptoms of schizophrenia in patients (The
Glutamate Hypothesis of Schizophrenia, 2018). Other involvement that glutamate may have w ith GABA
as well as dopamine also need consideration as being related to this receptor dysfunction (The
Glutamate Hypothesis of Schizophrenia, 2018).
Reply DB2: : 200 words without references page include. 2-3 references APA format
Glutamate is the chief and most plentiful neurotransmitter in the brain and central nervous system
(Adaes, 2018). Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter. What does excitatory mean? An
excitatory neurotransmitter promotes electrical current or action potential in the accepting neuron
(The University of Queensland, 2017). Excitatory neurotransmitters “increase permeability of the
postsynaptic membrane to positive ions. This permits sodium ions to diffuse into the postsynaptic
neuron leading to depolarization and generation of an action potential” (Boyd, n.d.). The outcome of
this is that the cell talk can continue throughout the brain circuitry.
Glutamate is a free amino acid. It is the connector between multiple neurons (Zhou & Danboli,
2014). These small connections enable cognition, learning and memory. The larger connections
enable more complex roles in sensory and motor functions (Adaes, 2018). According to Adaes (2018)
the brain does not regenerate new neurons to store information. It builds stronger connections
between existing neurons. By doing this glutamate encourages synaptic plasticity, this is the process
of building or weakening the “cell talk” between neurons over time to process learning and memory.
Glutamate must maintain a healthy balance within the synaptic cleft. If glutamate is not used by
the neighboring neuron it is either taken back up by the glutamate transporters in reverse in the
presynaptic vesicle or stored in the astrocyte, the helper cell of the neuron. If this does not occur
glutamate toxicity can occur. If too little stimulation occurs for the action potential to take place low
levels of glutamate uptake by the neighboring neuron occurs. Low levels cause as many problems as
high levels thus a fine balance must be maintained (Zhou & Danboli, 2014).
Glutamate overload also known as excitotoxicity results in neuronal damage and death. Symptoms
of excitotoxicity include hyperactivity, migraines, poor attention, irritability, explosive behavior,
aggression and mood swings. Some of the disease processes associated with glutamate overload are
Bipolar, Parkinson’s, and Alzeimher’s disease (Adaes, 2018). Glutamate deficiency is not without
problems. Lack of glutamate can cause restlessness, insomnia, concentration problems and low
energy (Adaes, 2018).
Glutamate has received lots of attention in the past years as a key target for new novel
medications. Recent study by White et. al (2018) found that using psychostimulants for attention
deficit disorder increased brain glutamate. Data revealed not only improved symptoms from
inattentiveness but also resulted in subsequent changes resulting in positive emotion. This was
hypothesized that the rise in glutamate could alter or improve learning and memory processing. This
was a new finding and association (White, et al. 2018). There is still a need for further studies to
understand the action potential of glutamate.
Adaes, S. (2018). What is Glutamate? An Examination of the Functions, Pathways, and Excitation of
the Glutamate Neurotransmitter. Retrieved from: https://neurohacker.com/what-is-glutamate (Links
to an external site.).
Boyd, S. (n.d.). E4 Neurotransmitters and synapses. Retrieved from:
https://slideplayer.com/slide/7668888 (Links to an external site.)/.
The University of Queensland. (2017). What are neurotransmitters? Retrieved from:
https://qbi.uq.edu.au/brain/brain-physiology/what-are-neurotransmitters (Links to an external site.).
White, T.L., Monning, M.A., Walsh, E.G., Nitenson, A.Z., Harris, A.D., Cohen, E.C., Porges, C.E., Woods,
A.J., Lamb, D.G., Boyd, C.A. and Fekir, S. (2018). Psychostimulant drug effects in glutamate, Glx, and
creatine in the anterior cingulate cortex and subjective response in healthy humans.
Neuropsychopharmacology, 2018; DOI: 10.1038/s41386-018-0027-7
Zhou, Y. & Danboli, N.C. (2014). Glutamate as a neurotransmitter in the healthy brain. Journal of
Neural Transmission. 121(8): 799-817.
Reply: DB3: 200 words without references page include. 2-3 references APA format
re dissociative disorders real? Explain why or why not (Please provide references to support all
Dissociative disorders are mental disorders identified by a disruption in consciousness, identity,
memory, emotion, body representation, perception, behavior, and motor control (Keltner & Steele.,
2019). Examples of dissociative symptoms include the feeling as if one is outside one’s body or the
experience of detachment and amnesia or loss of memory. Dissociative disorders are normally related to
previous experience of trauma. (“What are Dissociative Disorders?”, 2018).
There are three types of dissociative disorders:
Dissociative identity disorder
Dissociative disorders are real and develop as a way to cope with trauma. The disruptions in these
disorders are very real. Dissociation is an unconscious defense mechanism that is used by an individual
to protect oneself from the emotional pain of conflicts or experiences that have been repressed (Keltner
& Steele., 2019). The unfortunate reality of any dissociative disorder is while these individuals are
escaping reality to cope with traumatic events, disturbances are created with their activities of daily
living. According to The Mayo Clinic (Mayo Clinic, 2019), the most common signs of dissociative
Memory loss (amnesia) of certain time periods, events, people and personal information
A sense of being detached from yourself and your emotions
A perception of the people and things around you as distorted and unreal
Inability to cope well with emotional or professional stress
Significant stress or problems in your relationships, work or other important areas of your life
A blurred sense of identity
Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors
Describe what a dissociative episode might look like?
An example of someone experiencing dissociative amnesia is a woman who experiences a long and
traumatic childbirth. The woman who has a long labor with no anesthesia and strenuous labor pain may
not recall all the events of the birth after the child is born. The exhaustion and fatigue during childbirth
affects a woman’s body, mentally, physically and psychologically. This could result in a w oman not being
able to recall the events leading up to the birth or the birth itself. This is an example of what dissociative
amnesia may look like (the inability to recall important personal information) (Keltner & Steele., 2019).
The woman does not remember what happened because she has amnesia for the duration of time, her
mind and body dissociated from her reality by allowing her to escape the fear, horror and pain caused
from the event (“What are Dissociative Disorders?”, 2018).
DB4: 200 words without references page include. 2-3 references APA format
Are dissociative disorders real? Explain why or why not.
Understanding the development of multiple personalities is difficult. The diagnosis remains
controversial. Dissociation itself is the disruption of the integrative processes of consciousness,
perception, memory, and identity that define self-hood. Dissociative identity disorder is increasingly
understood as a complex and chronic Post-traumatic psychopathology closely related to severe,
particularly child abuse. Children who have been maltreated or abused are at risk for experiencing a
host of mental health problems, including dissociative identity disorder. A high prevalence of
dissociative disorder is noted among patients admitted from emergency psychiatric departments
Auditory hallucinations, psychogenic amnesia, flashback experiences and childhood abuse and/or
neglect are other features seen in patients with a dissociative disorder. ( Medscape, 2018). The
Individual begins to speak and act in different ways. The alter may seem to be a child, teenager, or
opposite gender. According to (Morrison, 2014) the DSM-5, the main psychiatric manual used to classify
mental illness includes dissociative Amnesia with dissociative “fugue” being related as a sub-type of
dissociation amnesia rather than its own diagnosis.
To the patient this is real. According to Keltner, the person always retains insight that it is not only a
change in perception, but the world itself remains the same. According to DSM-5 offers another route to
diagnosis which is de-realization. A feeling that external world is unreal or odd. May notice size, shapes,
of objects have changed or people seem robotic or even dead.
Mohammed, W. (2018). Dissociative Identity Disorder: Medscape. Available at
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/cm2014.pdf.2016;Accessed:March (Links to an external
Keltner, N.L., Steele, D. (2018). Psychiatric Nursing 8TH ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby.
Morrison, J. (2014). DSM-5 Made Easy: The Clinical Guide to Diagnosis
Describe what a dissociative episode might look like.
Children exhibit age-related differences in the level of the dissociative behavior, exhibit fantasy play and
displaying various parts of their personalities in various settings. Children have a much poorer sense of
continuity of their behavior and the flow of time than the adults do. Even well into adolescence children
may not recognize the sense of time or discontinuity of experience as unusual or abnormal experiences
in fact discontinuity of experience is probably the norm for young children (Webscape), 2018).
According to DSM-5, Dissociative Disorders can involve the loss of memory and time, episode of
detachment, one or more additional identities intermittently seize control of patients behavior.
Mohammed, W. (2018). Dissociative Identity Disorder Clinical Presentation: Medscape. Available at
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default//files/cb/cm2014.pdf.2016;Accessed:March (Links to an external
site.) 15, 2016.
Morrison, J. (2014). DSM-5 Made Easy: The Clinical Guide to Diagnosis.
DB5: 200 words without references page include. 2-3 references APA format
1. For this Module, please watch the movie The Soloist
The soloist was a movie with a man with schizophrenia Nathaniel Anthony Ayers and a
newspaper columnist Steve Lopez who developed a relationship.
What was psychosis?
Psychosis is delineated by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, abnormal
behavior, and negative symptoms (Morrison, 2014). Delusions include passivity
(influenced by an external force), poverty (indigence), references (the center of
conversation) and thought centered (people placing beliefs into someone’s
consciousness) (Morrison, 2014). Delusions experienced by Nathaniel Anthony Ayers Jr
in The Soloist included: Steve Lopez being his God, choice to be homeless living on the
street believing he did not need an apartment, and no one loved him. Hallucinations
included hearing voices as a child that continued into adulthood, hearing music when he
“played” the lines on his arm, hearing voices at Julliard and voices telling him he did not
matter, and the statement “I’m not always sure what is going on; it’s hard to
differentiate” (DreamWorks, 2009). Disorganized speech was noted in the episodes of
mania and when speaking about Beethoven. An incidence of abnormal behavior was
exhibited when he stepped out in front of oncoming traffic in the tunnel and his
attachment to his belongings on a shopping cart.
What was Reality???
Reality was apparent in much of the movie. He knew his name, childhood home, moved
to California to avoid the cold in Cleveland, apologized for his appearance, talented
musician (able to play cello and violin and read music), student at Julliard, recognized
his anger with Lopez when he refused an apartment, felt disrespected by Lopez,
reached out to his sister when she visited the shelter, knew he was mugged multiple
times, handshake with Lopez after they argu ed, aware of his fragile state of mental
health, and felt having a friend could change his brain chemistry.
Sidebar: Jamie Foxx who played the lead character in the soloist had flashbacks of
trauma he personally experienced at 18 years of age and he saw a psychiatrist to
determine if schizophrenia was contagious; he describes schizophrenia as “taking your
brain out and putting it in a meat grinder” (ScreenSlam, 2015).
DB6: 200 words without references page include. 2-3 references APA format
A Beautiful Mind was a wonderful movie about a scholarly gentleman that was brilliant and graduated at
the top of his class. He is known for the Game Theory. He was self -confident and egocentric. He was a
man that did not sleep well and suffered insomnia with racing thoughts. He viewed himself as superior
and smarter than the other students and scientists in his classes stating he did not need the classes as
they did to accomplish his goals of success. He showed lack of control as his disorder worsened
becoming apparent to all surrounding him, including his wife. These are all real events and occurrences
in his life. He began to have grandiose delusions of being able to make any shape or pattern meaningful.
He believed that he was summoned to the Pentagon to break top se cret codes for the Russians for his
ability to deduct meaning from numbers and patterns. He had a tracker placed in his arm that changed
to give him access to a drop box. He believed as a part of his assignment that he was to search
newspapers and articles to break codes. This event led him to hours of cutting out articles and reviewing
papers for codes that were absent. He then delivered them to a government agency drop box which was
an old abandon building where he thought they were being reviewed by the government. He was seeing
a government agent frequently following him and instructing him. He was given his own top secret
office behind his house for accessibility. He became more and more paranoid, feeling unsafe and as
though he was placing his family in danger. During this time, he had a roommate, Charles that assisted
him in stress control and gave him support and friendship. His wife called the doctors to assist him when
she discovered that he was having psychosis and all of these events were not occurring however he
believed that they were. He has the symptoms of hallucinations, delusions, negative symptoms,
disorganization with decreased functioning at work and home, decreased self -care and declining
interpersonal relationships that were noted to occur over years with months of the primary symptoms.
This lead physician to diagnosis him with schizophrenia, as he did fit the criteria per DSM 5 as listed
below. He went into remission with his medications and when stopped the delusions and hallucinations
returned. This confirmed the diagnosis.
The DSM 5 requires that a patient have disturbances in the level of functioning in one or more areas in
life such as work, interpersonal relationships or self-care that are lower than previously before
symptoms. At least 1 month out of 6 months the patient will exhibit at least one of the following,
delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized, catatonic behavior and /or negative
symptoms such as diminished emotional expression or avolition. ( SAMHSA, 2016) Although symptoms
and disturbances in functioning is the primary diagnostic tool obtaining a full history can assist in
confirming the disorder. Genetics play a significant role in assisting diagnosis. Around 10% of patients
with schizophrenia have a first degree relative that has psychosis. In twins, the unaffected twin has a
50% chance of developing psychotic symptoms. This places a person at a higher risk of the disorder.
Drug abuse of hallucinogens or marijuana has also both been associate d with the onset of psychosis.
There are no diagnostic tests that can confirm schizophrenia however lab testing and ruling out vitamin
deficiency or lead, copper poisoning would be appropriate. (NAMI, 2019)
National Alliance for Mental Health. (2019). NAMI. Retrieved from https://www.nami.org/learnmore/mental-health-conditions/schizophrenia (Links to an external site.)
Substance and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016, June). Table 3.22, DSM-IV to DSM-5
Schizophrenia Comparison – Impact of the DSM-IV to DSM-5 Changes on the National Survey on Drug
Use and Health – NCBI Bookshelf. Retrieved from
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