Agonist of psychopharmacologic agents binds to neurotransmitter and caused an activation of receptors; whereas antagonist agents then bind to those receptors that are activated by agonists, thus preventing them from being in an inactivated state; thus, causing them to be in the state that is desirable (Stahl, 2013). Antagonists block the actions of everything in the agonist spectrum. In the presence of an agonist, an antagonist will block the actions of that agonist but do nothing itself. The antagonist simply returns the receptor conformation back to the same state as exists when no agonist is present. Focal sensory system drugs act essential as agonists or opponents of neurotransmitter receptors, inhibitors of administrative chemicals or blockers of stimulators of neurotransmitter film transporters (Psychopharmacology,2017). One such example can be seen from the neurotransmitter receptors dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
G-couple proteins and ion gated channels are two primary neurotransmitter receptors that aid in the opening and closing the postsynaptic ion channels. The G proteins are metabotropic receptors where no ion channels and ion movement are dependent on a single metabolic step. However, activation of G-proteins, which are immediate molecules, affects these receptors. Both ion gated channels and G-couple proteins are associated with activation of the protein kinase and guanidine phosphates-bound proteins. Because the ion gated channel immediately changes ions’ flow, medications that act on these receptors can have an immediate clinical onset. In contrast, G-protein linked receptors may occur with a delay necessitated by waiting to initiate changes in cellular functions activated through the signal transduction cascade (Duncan, Song, & Sansom, 2019).
Epigenetics refers to heritable, nongenetic determinants that control gene expression without changing nucleotides’ primary sequence in the DNA sequence. These alterations include histone alterations, DNA methylation, non-coding RNAs, and chromatin remodelers. Epigenetic changes remain in place as the cells divide and can go from one generation to another. Environmental factors such as exposure to pollutants and diet can cause epigenetic changes. These changes are different from person to person and help verify if the genes are turned on or off and make sure that the required proteins are produced in the cells. Error in the epigenetic activity can cause irregular gene activity or inactivity, which can further lead to genetic disorders such as cancers, metabolic disorders, and neurodegenerative disorders like schizophrenia (Wang et al., 2018).
Providers need to remain diligent in staying abreast of the newest data and technology to provide a higher level of care. Understanding how medication works in the body, individual response and appropriate diagnosis can result in patients leading a productive life. As a provider, I would research how the receptors’ reaction to the medication prescribed and determine which drugs are compatible and not a duplicate therapy (Stahl, 2013). For example, an example is how those with a diagnosis of schizophrenia is treated; the pharmacological agent that is used to treat it, acts by reducing dopamine levels in the brain; the antagonist of dopamine works by binding the receptors causing a deactivation.
Duncan, A. L., Song, W., & Sansom, M. P. (2019). Lipid-dependent regulation of ion channels and protein-coupled receptors: Insights from structures and simulations. Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 60, 31-50. Retrieved on June 9, 2021, from https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev pharmtox-010919-023411
Psychopharmacology. (n.d.). Retrieved on June 9, 2021, from www.psych.If1/cuni.cz/bpen/Psychopharmacology.htm
Stahl, S. M. (2013). Stahl’s essential psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific basis and practical applications (4th ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press
Wang, L. Q., Singh, K., Zaw, A. M., & Chow, B. K. C. (2018). The Emerging Role of Epigenetics. In Heart Genomics (pp. 65-101). Springer, Singapore