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Neuropharmacology

History and Overview of Neuropharmacology: – Emerged in the early 20th century with the understanding of nervous system communication. – French scientists in the 1930s […]

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History and Overview of Neuropharmacology:
– Emerged in the early 20th century with the understanding of nervous system communication.
– French scientists in the 1930s worked with phenothiazine, leading to discoveries in sedative effects and benefits for Parkinson’s disease.
– Identification of specific neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
– Invention of the voltage clamp in 1949 enabled the study of ion channels and nerve action potential.
– Improvement in measuring neurochemical levels in the body and their correlation with behavior in the 1950s.
– Neuropharmacology covers aspects from single neuron manipulation to entire brain regions.
– Understanding neuron communication is crucial for drug development.
– Neurons have ion channels allowing chemical information transfer.
– Action potentials trigger neurotransmitter release into synapses.
– Drug actions can affect neurotransmitter binding and neuron communication.

Neurochemical Interactions and Receptor Actions:
– Neurons are excitable cells with ion channels allowing charged particles to pass.
– Neurons receive chemical information, process it, and transmit it to other neurons.
– Voltage-gated ion channels enable rapid depolarization and action potential generation.
– Neurotransmitters interact with post-synaptic receptors, influencing cellular biochemistry.
– Ligand-gated ion channels and G-protein-coupled receptors are key in neurotransmitter/receptor interactions.

Specific Neurotransmitters and Their Functions:
– GABA mediates fast synaptic inhibition in the central nervous system.
– Dopamine neurotransmitter binds to specific GPCRs and is used in Parkinson’s disease and restless leg syndrome.
– Serotonin mediates synaptic transmission and is widely used for depression treatment.
– Ethanol primarily affects GABAA and NMDA receptors in the brain, leading to anxiolytic and sedative effects.

Ion Channels and Drug Effects:
– Ion channels on neuron surfaces allow sodium influx and potassium outflow.
– Blocking ion channels decreases action potential likelihood.
– Riluzole is a neuroprotective drug blocking sodium ion channels and is used as an anesthetic and sedative.
– Behavioral neuropharmacology focuses on drug dependence, addiction effects on the brain, and the role of dopamine in addiction.

Research and Therapeutic Opportunities:
– Research on Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and the effects of chronic drug exposure on the brain.
– ΔFosB as a transcription factor implicated in addiction and a biomarker for chronic drug exposure.
– The neural basis of drug addiction involving biological processes induced by repeated drug exposure.
– Therapeutic opportunities in addiction using ΔFosB as a key factor in understanding addiction pathways and evaluating therapeutic interventions.

Neuropharmacology (Wikipedia)

Neuropharmacology is the study of how drugs affect function in the nervous system, and the neural mechanisms through which they influence behavior. There are two main branches of neuropharmacology: behavioral and molecular. Behavioral neuropharmacology focuses on the study of how drugs affect human behavior (neuropsychopharmacology), including the study of how drug dependence and addiction affect the human brain. Molecular neuropharmacology involves the study of neurons and their neurochemical interactions, with the overall goal of developing drugs that have beneficial effects on neurological function. Both of these fields are closely connected, since both are concerned with the interactions of neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, neurohormones, neuromodulators, enzymes, second messengers, co-transporters, ion channels, and receptor proteins in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Studying these interactions, researchers are developing drugs to treat many different neurological disorders, including pain, neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, psychological disorders, addiction, and many others.

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