Neurochemistry is a branch of neuroscience concerned with chemical processes within the central nervous system (CNS) that influence the structure and function of individual neurons and neural networks. Such processes include a number of chemical messengers involved in neurotransmission, changes in DNA expression and the actions of psychotropic medications, which all play an important role in regulating CNS function. Thanks to remarkable advances in technology, there are now several methods available to investigate these neurochemical processes, such as positron emission tomography (PET) and various in vitro and in vivo preparations (for review, see Finlay and Smith 2000).
The aging process is accompanied by considerable changes in neurochemistry and cognitive function. Molecular alterations at the cellular level can have a profound impact on neurotransmission, signal transduction cascades and subsequent genetic expression. In turn, such...
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