A type of poisonous gas destroys the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine. What effect do you think this gas has on the body?

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bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Acetylcholine acts as a neurotransmitter in both the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.  It acts as a neuromodulator in the central nervous system, causing a slowing of the heart rate.  If the poisonous gas destroys the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, it would be fair to expect elevated heart rates and higher blood pressure as a result.  Due to the fact the gas is posionous, depending on the physical condition of the individual being subjected to the gas, myocardial infarction could be induced, resulting in a potential fatality.  Acetylcholine is produced from the vagus nerve, and was originally named in connection with the vagus nerve.  This posionous gas potentially could be some type of nerve gas, that was in widespread use in World War I.


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