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Chapter 3 - Neurotransmission and Mechanisms of Drug Action

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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This chapter falls into three broad sections. The first considers basic principles and information regarding neurons, the nerve impulse and neurotransmission. The second section considers the principle neurotransmitters in the brain: acetylcholine, the catecholamines, dopamine, serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)), histamine and the amino acid neurotransmitters. The final section reviews minor neurotransmitters, namely neuropeptides, purine neurotransmitters, prostaglandins, neurosteroids, gaseous transmitters and endocannabinoids. It is not possible for this chapter to provide a comprehensive and in-depth view of neurotransmission. This is a rapidly advancing field and those wishing to obtain a more extensive account should consult the numerous reviews and monographs. However, the main areas of the subject are covered, and this will provide a basis for the reader to appreciate the succeeding chapters of this book.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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