This chapter is concerned with the definition of the subject matter of this book and the context in which it appears. Pharmacogenetics, as such, may be generally understood to cover the whole range of reactions to drugs as modified by genetic determinants, whether those reactions occur in animals or in humans and whether they are regarded as physiological or behavioral. Fuller (1970a, Fuller and Hansult, 1975) has rather briefly reviewed the field in the latter sense: On the other hand, Meier’s monograph (1963), while restricted to animals, emphasizes physiology and biochemistry, especially stressing genetic pathology in that the effects of hereditary disorders of function on drug response are prominently considered. Others reviewing the area, for example Kalow (1962) and Vesell (1975), have also concentrated on unusual responses to drugs, especially in humans. Green and Meier’s (1965) brief but genetically sophisticated review largely deals with physiological variables, and Sprott and Staats (1975) cover psychophar- macology in their useful bibliography. Eleftheriou (1975c) in his introduction to the valuable set of contributions which he edited, many of which will be cited separately in later chapters, sought to define psychophar- macogenetics thus: “… the area which is being specifically created in this presentation is an area which deals with pharmacologic agents that alter a given behavior in controlled genetic systems” (p. 1).


Drug Response Hereditary Disorder Gametic Fusion Unusual Response Individual Life History 
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Copyright information

© P. L. Broadhurst 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BirminghamBirminghamEngland

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