Journal of Spine & NeurosurgeryISSN: 2325-9701

Neuropharmacology

Neuropharmacology is the study of how drugs affect cellular function in the nervous system. 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. Neuropharmacology is a very broad region of science that encompasses many aspects of the nervous system from single neuron manipulation to entire areas of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. Neuropharmacology did not appear in the scientific field until, in the early part of the 20th century, scientists were able to figure out a basic understanding of the nervous system and how nerves communicate between one another. Before this discovery, there were drugs that had been found that demonstrated some type of influence on the nervous system. With an increase in technology and our understanding of the nervous system, the development of drugs will continue to rise with an increase in drug sensitivity and specificity.

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