Module summary

Module code: PHAR1008
Level: 6
Credits: 30
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Science
Module Coordinator(s): Michael Leach



• To extend knowledge of neuropharmacology in the autonomic and central nervous systems (with an emphasis on the CNS and CNS disorders).
• To increase understanding of neurotransmission in the nervous systems, sites of drug action, drug targets and therapeutic uses.
• To provide an understanding of the pathophysiology and neuropharmacology of various disorders/diseases of the CNS.
• To encourage students to develop a critical approach to the interpretation of pharmacological information.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1. Give an overview of the functional anatomy and neuropharmacological aspects of the autonomic and central nervous systems.
2. Discuss the role of pharmacology in the development of neurotransmitter and receptor concepts.
3. Evaluate therapeutic uses of pharmacological agents used to delineate physiological processes.
4. Have a knowledge of various disorders particularly in the central nervous system and the current pharmacological treatments and new drug and future approaches to clinical treatment.

Indicative content

Functional anatomy of the autonomic and central nervous systems. Neurotransmission in the autonomic and central nervous systems. Neurons, glia, blood brain barrier, synaptic vesicle cycle. Synthesis, metabolism, termination of action of cholinergic, adrenergic neurotransmitters; nicotinic and muscarinic receptors and subtypes; adrenergic receptors and subtypes. Excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in the CNS; transmitter pathways, excitatory amino acid receptors, GABA, 5-HT, dopamine, ion channels, nitric oxide. Pharmacological agents acting in the ANS and CNS. Therapeutic uses of pharmacological agents. Aspects of function and disorder eg. learning and memory, sleep, electroencephalogram, epilepsy, anti-epileptic agents, neurodegenerative disorders, multiple sclerosis, cerebral ischaemia, stroke, head injury, depression and anti-depressant drugs, schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, pain and analgesics. Drug dependency and drug abuse, brain reward circuit, psychomotor stimulants and psychotomimetic agents.