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Your Brain on FoodHow Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings$
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Gary Wenk

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195388541

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388541.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 November 2019

Euphoria, Depression, & Madness

Euphoria, Depression, & Madness

(p.51) chapter 3 Euphoria, Depression, & Madness
Your Brain on Food

Gary L. Wenk

Oxford University Press

The neurotransmitter norepinephrine influences your level of arousal while dopamine controls the experience of reward and pleasure. Amphetamine induces the release of norepinephrine and dopamine from neurons and greatly slows their inactivation; this produces heightened alertness, euphoria, depressed appetite, and insomnia. Naturally occurring substances that act similarly to amphetamine include ephedrine, khat, peyote, kava kava, asarone, and a large variety of common herbs. Cocaine also acts similarly to amphetamine. Over 100 years ago it became popular to mix wine with extracts from the coca plant; this lead to the appearance of a range of beverages, including Coca-Cola and Vin Mariani. In the 1950s, scientists discovered that blocking the actions of the dopamine in the brain was an effective way of treating the symptoms of psychosis. By considering how the extracts from various plants manipulate the actions of norepinephrine and dopamine within the brain, scientists have discovered some consistent patterns that allow us to make predictions about what to expect when specific types of chemicals are consumed.

Keywords:   Coca-Cola, Vin Mariani, psychosis, reserpine, euphoria, rebound symptoms, fat solubility, ecstasy, ephedrine, mescaline

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