Acetylcholine is a natural chemical which acts as a neurotransmitter in the peripheral nervous system and also in the central nervous system.
In the peripheral nervous system acetylcholine plays a role in skeletal muscle movement, as well as in the regulation of smooth muscle and cardiac muscle.
In the central nervous system acetylcholine is believed to be involved in learning, memory, and mood.
It is believed that some psychoactive drugs including some cholinesterase inhibitors such as donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine and tacrine work by increasing the amount of acetylcholine in the brain.
They do this by inhibiting (reducing the effect of) acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme which inhibits acetylcholine.
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