Neurochemistry and Neuropharmacology

Neurochemistry: is the study of the identities, structures and functions of compounds (neurochemicals) that are generated by and that modulate the nervous system. Neurochemicals include oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine and other neurotransmitters and neurotransmitter-regulating substances.

Neuropharmacology: is a branch of study which deals with drugs that affect the nervous system. It is focused on the development of compounds that may be of benefit to individuals who suffer from neurological or psychiatric illness.

Therefore, this field requires an in-depth knowledge of how the nervous system functions as well as the way in which each drug acts upon neural circuits and alters cellular behavior, and eventually the organism’s behavior.

Neuropharmacology itself came into existence only five decades ago, prior to which there were only four drugs available for nerve disorders: morphine, caffeine, nitrous oxide, and aspirin. In the next 50 years, a new set of drugs such as antihistamines, barbiturates, and opioid analogs have emerged.

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