Brain and Behavior

Neurotransmitters and Other Brain Chemicals

What are opioids, the natural pain killers?

Opioids are a form of neuromodulator that serves to dampen our pain response. They are our homemade analgesics, our natural painkillers. One way that opioids work is to inhibit the effect of the neurotransmitter glutamate. As glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter, inhibiting glutamate serves to reduce brain activity, in effect to calm down the brain.


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