Although remembering neurotransmitter metabolic pathways may seem boring and difficult, this knowledge will be a great help to you both clinically and when interpreting research findings.
The information in this module will help you in the following clinical situations:
- remembering likely drug interactions, for example knowing that MAOI and SSRI alter different components of serotoninergic transmission
- understanding adverse drug reactions: knowing why cheese should be avoided by those taking MAOI.
The module will also help with the following research areas:
- interpreting the potential significance of genetic variants in neurotransmitter metabolic pathways, for example knowing that a variant in the enzyme COMT found in schizophrenia could potentially influence noradrenaline and dopamine metabolism
- interpreting the potential significance of studies looking at neurotransmitter metabolites in patients, for example knowing that 5-H1AA metabolites, which have been found to be low in those who have attempted suicide, are degradation products of serotonin.