One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Either of two compounds that occur naturally in the brain. They are peptides related to the endorphins, with similar physiological effects.
- ‘For example, it enhances production of naturally occurring morphine-like substances called endorphins and enkephalins that moderate pain.’
- ‘Pleasant diversion and vigorous exercise help as they increase the inborn production of pain killers called endorphins or enkephalins.’
- ‘Endorphin and enkephalins are released, creating a euphoric effect.’
- ‘Within a few years, researchers had isolated two classes of peptide molecules, the enkephalins and the endorphins.’
- ‘Belief and expectation, cardinal components of hope, can block pain by releasing the brain's endorphins and enkephalins, thereby mimicking the effect of morphine.’
1970s: from Greek enkephalos ‘brain’ (from en- ‘in’ + kephalē ‘head’) + -in.
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