5 Things You Need to Know About Acetylcholine

Acetylcholine is an excitatory neurotransmitter that conducts electrical impulses through a series of actions, making it possible for nerve cells to communicate with muscle cells and generate muscle contractions. Once released from a nerve terminal, it reacts instantly to a specific receptor, producing a specific response. Neurotransmission is an extremely sensitive course of action that can either speed up or slow down to accommodate different physiologic bodily functions. Many drugs and diseases can modify the reaction of acetylcholine, causing symptoms produced by either too much or too little. Balance of the different neurotransmitters is essential for the proper functioning of muscles, the nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls areas such as heart rate, bladder function and secretions in the digestive system.

Nerve Cell
Neurons tranferring info with electrical pulses. (Image: ktsimage/iStock/Getty Images)

Acetylcholine is an excitatory neurotransmitter that conducts electrical impulses through a series of actions, making it possible for nerve cells to communicate with muscle cells and generate muscle contractions. Once released from a nerve terminal, it reacts instantly to a specific receptor, producing a specific response. Neurotransmission is an extremely sensitive course of action that can either speed up or slow down to accommodate different physiologic bodily functions. Many drugs and diseases can modify the reaction of acetylcholine, causing symptoms produced by either too much or too little. Balance of the different neurotransmitters is essential for the proper functioning of muscles, the nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls areas such as heart rate, bladder function and secretions in the digestive system.

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