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Chapter 1 - A Brief History of Psychopharmacology

from Part 1 - Basic Science and General Principles

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 May 2020

Peter M. Haddad
Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar
David J. Nutt
Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology, Division of Psychiatry, Department of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London
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The Oxford English Dictionary defines psychopharmacology as ‘the scientific study of the effect of drugs on the mind and behaviour’ (Oxford English Dictionary Online, 2018). The earliest reference to the term was in 1548 when Reinhard Lorichius published the prayer book Psychopharmakon, hoc est Medicina Animae (Lehmann, 1993; Wolman, 1977). Lorichius coined the term ‘psychopharmakon’ to refer to spiritual medicine that could reduce human suffering. The word psychopharmacology was first used in a scientific paper in 1920 by a pharmacologist working at Johns Hopkins University who wrote a short paper entitled Contributions to psychopharmacology (Macht, 1920).

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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