Is nerve gas inhibitory or excitatory?

I'm doing a project in bio class and i've found everything but i cannot seem to find whether nerve gas is inhibitory or excitatory. If any one could help out, please just help by finding a website so i can do the research myself and not let you all do my homework. Thank you!

1 Answer

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Nerve gas is a generic term which means neurotoxin; a toxin that acts on the brain.

    Neurotoxins are generally excitatory. Many of them attack acetylcholinesterase (AChe). Neurons transfer signals by use of Acetylcholine (ACh), a neurotransmitter. After the signal is sent, AChe degrades the ACh and clears the synapse. When AChe is inhibited, the ACh signal does not stop, and the result is over-stimulation of the post-synaptic cell. So while the action of the neurotoxin inhibits an enzyme, the result is excitation of synapse.

    Other toxins attack the sodium channels of the neural axon. These keep these channels open, and the cell is unable to "rest", and the signal is continuously sent.

    I'm not a toxicologist, but I took an advanced toxicology course in college. I do believe there are some neurotoxins which are inhibitory too.

    I hope this helps.

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