enkephalin (ĕnkĕfˈəlĭn) [key], one of several naturally occurring morphinelike substances (endorphins) 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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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