“Compared to the pond of knowledge, our ignorance remains Atlantic.”
Editors The Encyclopaedia of Ignorance
As we contemplate the subject of Neurotransmitters, it doesn’t take long to be reminded of the arrogance of Modern Science and its inability to answer the simple question, “Why?”. No matter what particular field of scientific endeavor you might choose to examine, whether it be something on a “macro” or “micro” level, whether it involves concrete or abstract concepts, you don’t have to play the entirety of the child’s game of Twenty Questions (i.e., asking the question, “Why?” and then following up 19 more times with the same question) before you soon discover that, in many respects, the Scientific Emperor has no clothes.
When it comes to Neuroscience, the intricacy, complexity, wonder and—dare we say it?—mystery of life slaps any open-minded seeker after knowledge and understanding right in the face. Since Modern Science’s overestimation of itself has become a pet peeve for us over the years, please permit us to climb on our soapbox for a couple of minutes…
[Note: Whatever the combination of neurotransmitters, neurohormones and neurosteroids which are now percolating and are involved in the present mix of mind and emotions, the bottom line here is that we feel the need to vent! ]
Inside that skull of yours is a three-pound organ made up of the most phenomenal, incredibly-complex material to be discovered anywhere in the created universe. Most of this pink, Jello-like mass is comprised of nerve cells (neurons). In fact, hundreds of billions of them.
A typical neuron has about 10,000 different connections to other neurons (actually, neurons aren’t “hardwired” to each other; there is a space between each “connection” called a synapse). In your brain, there are more of these neural connections, or synaptic junctions, in a space the size of a pea than there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy! Throughout this nearly incomprehensible matrix, this intricate web of neurons, electro-chemical pulses are sent as frequently as one hundred times per second. There can be trillions and trillions of these pulses going on inside your head at any point in time. And each of these pulses is a courier of important information.
Millions of people struggle to drag themselves out of bed every morning, knowing that they have to somehow slog through another day while having to deal with any of a number of the symptoms and disorders we have listed for you (see “Symptoms“, above). It may surprise you to know that all of these serious, often debilitating problems and complaints — every single one of them! — can be caused by a deficiency (and subsequent imbalance) in a number of powerful, natural chemicals your brain and nervous system need on a moment-by-moment basis in order to function properly and at optimum levels. These primary, critical, life-enabling, natural chemicals are called neurotransmitters (closely related: neurohormones, neurosteroids).