Acetylcholine is a chemical in your body called a neurotransmitter that allows nerves to communicate with other nerves, glands, and muscles. It works in your body in tandem with acetylcholinesterase, which is the enzyme used to break down the acytylcholine. It’s like a tennis volley… the two chemicals work hand in hand to keep your nerves operating right.
Sarin is a chemical nerve agent. It’s what’s called an “acetylcholinesterase inhibitor” that prevents the proper operation of acetylcholinesterase, which is the “off switch” for neurons, exocrine glands, and muscles. Without the “off switch,” the neurons, glands, and muscles the are constantly stimulated.
Symptoms of exposure to sarin gas appear within a few seconds. Symptoms of sarin used as a warfare agent causes loss of consciousness, convulsions, paralysis, and respiratory failure often leading to death. Mildly exposed people usually recover completely. Severely exposed people are less likely to survive. Nasty stuff for sure.