What is a Synapse?

by Anthony Carter on June 17, 2011


synapse, receptor, neurotransmitter moleculesA person’s body is controlled by the brain through a system of neurons and synapses. This means that the brain tells neurons what it wants the body to do and through chemical messages and electrical charges the messages is transmitted to the relevant part of the body.

The neurons are, however, not connected together and the messages have to pass through a small gap between the neurons to reach the following neuron. This juncture is called a synapse.

How it works

When a chemical message or electrical charge reaches a neuron, there is a period of time during which the neuron assimilates the message and prepares the necessary chemicals etc. to pass on the message. Once the message is ready to be transmitted, the neuron then releases it into the juncture – the synapse – which then passes it on to the next neuron.

There are millions of the synapses in the human body and they all facilitate the body’s functions at a very rapid speed. It goes so fast that you are not even aware of the process.

It does, however, happen that the synapses are damaged through birth, an accident, chemical use and abuse and age. This is when a person starts experiencing a decrease in the speed with which things can be done. There is some memory loss and limbs don’t move as smoothly as they normally would.

When this happens it means that the neurons are not able to pass the brain’s messages to the various body parts effectively. The synapse is damaged – it may be either too small or too big or even distorted which then prevents the message from passing through it. When this happens the person’s thoughts and movements slow down and it can be a great source of frustration. Conditions like these fall under the jurisdiction of Neurology.

Conclusion

It is vital that a person maintains a healthy body and a healthy mind in order to function normally. Although the body can function with a certain amount of abuse being inflicted on it, the long-term effects of the damage that is done can be devastating.

Some examples of faulty synapses are illnesses like Altzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Altzheimer’s is about the deterioration of the mind, while Parkinson’s is about the loss of control over one’s limbs. Both are incurable and are progressive to the point of death. Neither of these diseases are necessarily caused by abuse to the body, but there are definitely some things that people can do to prevent its onset or its progression.

When your synapses work well, you will feel and notice the difference in the quality of your life. You will be able to think better, move better, do more and be able to assist others as well. The key is to make sure that you take care of your body and mind and protect these delicate parts of your body that you can’t see but can make such a huge difference in the quality and quantity of your life.

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