Jan 4th 2014

Drugs and the Brain (Coursera)

Taught by:

The neuroscience of drugs for therapy, for prevention, and for recreation. Drug addiction and drug abuse. You’ll learn the prospects for new generations of medications in neurology, psychiatry, aging, and treatment of substance abuse.

What happens in the body when a person smokes a cigarette? After several weeks of smoking? When a person takes antidepressant or antipsychotic medication? A drug for pain, migraine, or epilepsy? A recreational drug? Neuroscientists are beginning to understand these processes. You’ll learn how drugs enter the brain, how they act on receptors and ion channels, and how “molecular relay races” lead to changes in nerve cells and neural circuits that far outlast the drugs themselves. “Drugs and the Brain” also describes how scientists are gathering the knowledge required for the next steps in preventing or alleviating Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, and drug abuse.

Suggested Readings:

The instructors and students provide additional appropriate links to reading on molecular biology, genomics, physiology, pharmacology, cell biology, biophysics, organic chemistry, psychiatry, neurology, and electrical circuits.

More info: