Rationale and prospects for drugs that target nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

  • Andrea Wevers
  • Diana S. Woodruff-Pak
Part of the Milestones in Drug Therapy MDT book series (MDT)


Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are implicated in a variety of disorders of the human central nervous system including addiction to nicotine, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, autism, depression, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and Tourette’s syndrome [ 1,2]. Mechanisms of nAChR impairment in this disparate group of syndromes are poorly understood. Additionally, in healthy organisms nAChRs play a significant role in a number of cognitive processes including learning and memory [ 3,4]. Because nAChRs are involved in normal cognitive processes as well as a complex range of central nervous system disorders, it is important to define the means by which these receptors exert their action in the brain and interact with disease-related neuropathology. It is also imperative to explore the prospects of therapeutic manipulations of nAChRs in human central nervous systems disorders.


Unconditioned Stimulus Nicotinic Receptor Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Eyeblink Conditioning Young Rabbit 
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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Wevers
    • 1
  • Diana S. Woodruff-Pak
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department II of Anatomy — NeuroanatomyUniversity of CologneCologneGermany
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyAlbert Einstein Healthcare NetworkPhiladelphiaUSA

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