• Jack R. Cooper
Part of the Readings from the Encyclopedia of Neuroscience book series (REN)


Neuropharmacology is the study of drugs that affect the nervous system where drugs are defined not only as agents that are foreign to the organism but include endogenous substances such as l-dopa. In the central nervous system (CNS), neuropharmacology encompasses the psychotropic drugs which alter mood and behavior, general anesthetics, analgetics, anticonvulsants, hypnotics, analeptics, and narcotics. In the peripheral nervous system, neuropharmacology includes drugs that block axonal conduction, neuromuscular blocking agents, and an extraordinary range of drugs that affect the autonomic and enteric nervous systems. Since neuropharmacology is not a specific discipline with its own technology such as neurophysiology or neurochemistry, neuropharmacologists, depending on their training, represent virtually every field of biomedical science. As long as their primary concern is with neuroactive drugs, investigators can choose to be classified as neuropharmacologists regardless of whether they are endocrinologists, immunologists, physiologists, or chemists.

Further reading

  1. Cooper JR, Bloom FE, Roth RH (1986): The Biochemical Basis of Neuropharmacology. New York: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  2. Iversen S, Iversen LL (1981): Behavioral Pharmacology. New York: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack R. Cooper

There are no affiliations available

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