We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Major Neurotransmitters?

By Jennifer Long
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

In the brain, there are many different chemicals that aid in function. Neurotransmitters are types of endogenous chemicals that are produced by cells. Although there are many types of neurotransmitters that correspond to types of cells, there are three groups of major neurotransmitters that have the most influence. These groups of important neurotransmitters are peptide, biogenic amine, and amino acid neurotransmitters.

Neurotransmitters are special chemicals that sit between cells. They bring messages from neurons back and forth, allowing cells to communicate with each other. These special chemicals are grouped based on where they are produced and what they do. Different types of cells produce different types of neurotransmitters, but a few have been identified as major neurotransmitters through research.

Peptide neurotransmitters are one group of major neurotransmitters. This group includes the peptide known as cholecystokinin. Studies have shown this neurotransmitter increases the production of a neurotransmitter called gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) and decreases another neurotransmitter called dopamine. In general, peptide neurotransmitters help regulate appetite, mood, and pain perceptions.

Other major neurotransmitters belong to a group called biogenic amine neurotransmitters. Serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine are a few of the primary neurotransmitters in this group. Biogenic neurotransmitters assist in regulating sleep, mood, and body movement. Research has proved that acetylcholine also influences memory and learning abilities.

Amino acid neurotransmitters are the third group of major neurotransmitters. GABA and glutamate are the primary neurotransmitters in this group and work to balance each other. GABA is a type of inhibitor that blocks the communication of one cell to any others. It balances excitement within the brain. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that induces excitement in the brain when triggered.

Although it seems as though neurotransmitters function smoothly in the brain, a balance is important. A problem with any one of the major neurotransmitters can throw off the balance and lead to issues. For example, a deficiency in acetylcholine is believed to be one of the causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, a deficiency in an inhibitory neurotransmitter can cause an abnormal increase in excitatory neurotransmitters, leading to cell overexertion and cell death.

All neurotransmitters work together every minute throughout life to keep a balance in the brain. Neurotransmitters tell the brain how to act and tell cells what to regulate and when. They also tell the body which chemicals are needed at any point in time. All of the systems of the body rely on neurotransmitters to function properly.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.