Addiction and neural ageing
Addiction and neural ageing

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Glossary for SD805_2
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A process to do with sensations of pleasure and displeasure.

afferent neuron

A neuron that conveys information to a structure. Often used to mean neurons that convey information to the central nervous system, i.e. sensory neurons.


A substance that mimics the natural effect of a neurotransmitter by occupying receptor sites for the natural substance.


One of several alternative forms of a gene occupying a given locus on a chromosome.


Focused on an object in its own right, rather than in relation to oneself.

allosteric site

Region of an enzyme molecule where the regulatory molecule (often the end-product of a metabolic pathway) can reversibly bind. This results in a change in shape of the active site and so modifies substrate binding and enzyme catalysis.

amino acid

Building block of polypeptides and proteins, so named because of the presence of the amino, –NH2, and carboxylic acid, –COOH, groups of atoms in their structure. There are 20 common naturally occurring amino acids.


Brain structure with a primary role in motivation and emotion.

amyloid precursor protein (APP)

A large transmembrane glycoprotein, which has been shown to play a major role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as other related cerebral amyloid diseases. APP is made of 695 amino acids (APP-695). In 1988, three research groups simultaneously reported the isolation of cDNA clones that were shown to contain one or two additional domains compared with original APP-695. One of them showed extensive similarity to the Kunitz family of serine protease inhibitors (KPI) and resulted in a 56 amino acid insertion within the extracellular domain of the precursor protein. Therefore, the APP gene transcript and the corresponding APP protein that contain the nucleotide sequence or amino acid sequence, respectively, encoding this insert are denoted as KPI-APP or APP-751. APP-695 is predominantly expressed in the brain during development. The level of KPI-APP or APP-751 increased during ageing.


Term describing metabolic reactions that result in the synthesis of materials and in which energy is consumed.

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