Psychopharmacology: Drugs, the Brain and Behavior

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9780878935345: Psychopharmacology: Drugs, the Brain and Behavior

Recent advances in molecular pharmacology and brain imaging have revolutionized our understanding of how psychoactive drugs work. Now, from the authors of Principles of Neuropsychopharmacology, comes a new undergraduate textbook integrating these developments. The first section of the book provides extensive foundation materials, including the basic principles of pharmacology, neurophysiology and neuroanatomy, synaptic transmission, and methods in psychopharmacology. The second section describes key features of major neurotransmitter systems, including the catecholamines, serotonin, acetylcholine, glutamate and GABA. The third and fourth sections discuss theories and mechanisms of drug addiction and psychopathology. All major substances of abuse as well as drugs used to treat mental illness are covered.

Psychopharmacology: Drugs, the Brain and Behavior is unique in its breadth of coverage, ranging from historical accounts of drug use to clinical and preclinical behavioral studies to the latest research on drug effects in transgenic mouse models. Student engagement with the material is fostered by opening each chapter with a relevant vignette and by providing breakout boxes presenting novel or cutting-edge topics for special discussion. The book is extensively illustrated with full-color photographs and line art depicting important concepts and experimental data. Psychopharmacology: Drugs, the Brain and Behavior is appropriate for undergraduate psychopharmacology or drugs and behavior courses that emphasize relationships between the behavioral effects of psychoactive drugs and their mechanisms of action.

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About the Author:

Jerrold S. Meyer is Professor of Psychology and Director of the interdepartmental Neuroscience and Behavior Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He did his graduate work under Dr. Robert Bowman at the University of Wisconsin, receiving his Ph.D. in 1974, and he was a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Bruce McEwen at Rockefeller University and with Dr. William Boggan at the Medical University of South Carolina. He is the author or coauthor of over 75 articles and chapters in the fields of neuropharmacology and neuroendocrinology, and coauthored Principles of Neuropsychopharmacology (1997) with Robert Feldman and Linda Quenzer. Dr. Meyer is a past President of the Neurobehavioral Teratology Society, an international society devoted to the study of neurotoxicant effects on brain and behavioral development. His current research, funded by the National Institutes of Health, focuses on the neurotoxic and behavioral effects of MDMA ("Ecstasy"), and the neurochemical and neuroendocrine correlates of self-injurious behavior. Linda F. Quenzer is Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Hartford. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1974 with Dr. Robert S. Feldman and she was an NIMH postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Preclinical Pharmacology with Dr. Norton Neff. During her appointment in the Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatry at the University of Connecticut Medical School, she received a Career Development Award from the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association Foundation. Dr. Quenzer has extensive teaching experience in the areas of psychobiology and neuropsychopharmacology at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. Her previous collaborations with Sinauer Associates include Fundamentals of Neuropsychopharmacology (1984, with Robert Feldman) and Principles of Neuropsychopharmacology (1997, with Robert Feldman and Jerrold Meyer). Her current interests concern the role of the HPA axis, hippocampal atrophy, and neurogenesis in psychiatric disorders.

From The New England Journal of Medicine:

In the preface to this book, the authors point out that for thousands of years humans have used psychoactive substances to modify their perceptions and mood. Indeed, some observers believe that such behavior may be a defining characteristic of the human condition. In contrast to the millennial history of drug taking, the era of scientific psychopharmacology is very short; perhaps its proper beginning can be dated to the middle of the 20th century. Since then, the rate of accrual of new knowledge in the field has increased enormously. (Figure) The authors aim to produce an introductory textbook on psychopharmacology and to convey some of the excitement that they find in this discipline. They attempt to create an integrated work, linking the basic principles of pharmacology, neurophysiology, and related neuroscience; the key features of the neurotransmitter systems; and the theories and mechanisms of related illnesses, including substance abuse and major psychiatric disorders. The authors have succeeded in reaching all these goals. They cover the important topics with great clarity, and the reader will find all the subjects accessible. "Hooks" at the beginning of each chapter -- such as an image of the title page of Uber Coca, Sigmund Freud's tribute to the virtues of cocaine -- catch the interest of the reader; the authors, while not compromising the thoroughness of their scientific explanations, have greatly enhanced the book's readability with this technique. A particular delight is that the book is sumptuously illustrated -- many of the illustrations are eye-catching and attention-grabbing. As with any first edition, there are one or two minor flaws in the writing and minor errors in the references. Available to qualified adopters of this textbook are special supplements -- a resource CD for instructors, which contains all the figures, illustrations, photographs, and tables from the book, as well as a test bank consisting of 50 questions per chapter. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to learn about psychopharmacology. Allan Hunter Young, M.D., Ph.D.
Copyright © 2005 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. The New England Journal of Medicine is a registered trademark of the MMS.

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