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Neuropharmacology

Neuropharmacology is the study of how drugs or the intake of various drugs affect the cells in our nervous system and how this particular change affects our behaviour. There are two main branches of neuropharmacology; behavioural and molecular. The first branch focuses on how drug addiction affects the human brain and in return, the human behaviour. The latter branch focuses on the interaction of the neurons with the drugs in the developing of beneficial effects. Neuropharmacology is a very active field of study because of lack of understanding of mechanisms needed to make drugs for disorders ranging from Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s, psychological disorders to addiction, etc.

History

It was not until up to the 20th century that scientists discovered how neurons interacted amongst each other, however, the use of some drugs that affected the nervous system had already been developed. Early in the 20th century scientists used to administer a drug and its response not knowing how to relate a specific drug action to a patient’s response. Later, scientists better began to understand the various levels of neurochemicals in a person’s body and how it affected behviour.

Behavioural Neuropharmacology

Behavioural Neuropharmacology, also known as Neuropsychopharmacology, focuses on drugs influencing behaviour. Every human, whether addicted to drugs or not, has a fundamental level of neuro-chemical in the brain, and thus the understanding of these neurons work is of significant importance. The ultimate goal of this specific branch of neuropharmacology is to develop drugs for psychiatric disorders and to conduct researches on how to make these drugs more potent by minimizing its side effects. To provide a better quality of living is the main emphasis of behavioural neuropharmacology. Moreover, research has proved that adult brains can make new neurons which provides hope for scientists in cases of making drugs for patients of Alzheimer and Parkinson.

Types of Neuropharmacology Diseases

  • Parkinson’s
  • This is one of the most common types of disease which neuropharmacology deals with. Here, a person’s motor symptoms result from the loss or degeneration of specific neurons. It is a progressive disease which causes tremors, rigid muscle movements and in later stages loss of motor control. There is certain help to ease the situation for these patients but there is no cure yet.

  • Depression in Aging
  • It is common for the elderly to be victims of depression when they feel they are aging and this can be mainly caused by the fast advancement of the society which leads the elderly to feel that they are unable to cope with life or that they might be left behind. It can result in higher utilization health care facilities and suicides. Most elderly, therefore, take drugs such as antidepressants to cope with depression and to keep it from disturbing routine life.