Current theories of psychiatric and neurological disorders are largely derived from what we know about drugs that can mimic the symptoms or that are used for treating these disorders. Basic knowledge of the effects of drugs and their underlying neurobiological mechanisms will therefore help students to understand these theories better. This course primarily aims at facilitating the understanding of therapeutic and side effects of psychoactive drugs. This will be done by presenting major classes of CNS drugs and their use in prominent disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia and by presenting the mechanisms and effects of a number of recreational drugs - such as cocaine, LSD, and ketamine.
At the end of the course there will be a written exam consisting of at least six open/essay questions.
Doelstellingen van dit vak
After this course students are able to:
- explain pharmacokinetic processes and moderating factors;
- apply knowledge of neurotransmission to explain drug effects;
- name most frequently used drugs used for the treatment of anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and dementia;
- explain the primary neurobiological mechanisms of action these drugs;
- describe the major differences between subclasses of drugs;
- explain why these drugs may have therapeutic effects;
- know the most relevant side-effects, and understand the neurobiological mechanisms of common side-effect;
- understand the neurobiological theories of the psychopathology of depression and schizophrenia and explain some of the supporting empirical evidence.
Basic understanding of neuroanatomy and neurotransmission is recommended.