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enkephalin(ĕnkĕf`əlĭn), one of several naturally occurring morphinelike substances (endorphinsendorphins
, neurotransmitters found in the brain that have pain-relieving properties similar to morphine. There are three major types of endorphins: beta endorpins, found primarily in the pituitary gland; and enkephalins and dynorphin, both distributed throughout the nervous
..... Click the link for more information. ) released from nerve endings of the central nervous system and the adrenal medulla. They act as analgesics and sedatives in the body and appear to affect mood and motivation.
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A mixture of two polypeptides isolated from the brain; central mode of action is an inhibition of neurotransmitter release.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.