Skip to main content
Unit of study_

PCOL3022: Neuropharmacology

Do you want to understand how drugs act on the brain? The human brain has been called the last great frontier in science and medicine. In this unit of study, you will learn about how the brain normally functions and what goes wrong to generate neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases and disorders. As pharmacologists we study chemicals, modulators and their synaptic, cellular and neural pathway targets for potential drug therapies and to further understanding the disease processes. This unit includes a comprehensive lecture series that delves into the mechanism of action of drugs, cutting-edge pharmacology and neuroscience methods used in understanding of addiction, Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders, schizophrenia, epilepsy, pain, anxiety and depression. You will develop skills through a series of tutorials and practicals to understand development of new therapies beginning at the molecular level stepping through to preclinical cellular and behavioural experiments and finally human testing of drug action. This unit of study is highly recommended for students interested in pursuing a career in medicine and allied health professions (e.g. nursing, pharmacy, physiotherapy, dentistry) and medical research pathways.

Code PCOL3022
Academic unit Pharmacy
Credit points 6
Prerequisites:
? 
(PCOL2011 or PCOL2021 or MEDS2002) or (BMED2401 and BMED2402 and BMED2405) or (ANAT2010 or ANAT2910) or (PSYC2010 or PSYC2910 or PSYC2015 or PSYC2915)
Corequisites:
? 
None
Prohibitions:
? 
PCOL3922

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Describe and explain centrally acting drugs and their targets at a molecular, protein, cellular, system- and organism-level, and how these drugs are used to modulate CNS-mediated function and behaviours including drugs used to treat insomnia, stress, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, pain, epilepsy, migraine, stroke, movement disorders, and dementia.
  • LO2. Critically evaluate current research methods in neuropharmacology and explain their role in producing new knowledge about CNS pharmacology.
  • LO3. Investigate current topics in neuropharmacology using literature searches and critically analyse the research literature for reliability and relevance of information.
  • LO4. Integrate information from many sources into a coherent and critical appraisal of the currently available information on a specific research area, and communicate a concise, informative response presenting a recommendation or view in written and/or oral form.
  • LO5. Communicate ideas and interpretations of scientific information through both oral and written communication tools using appropriate language and style.
  • LO6. Determine the appropriate experimental design in attaining a specific scientific aim.
  • LO7. Collect, analyse and interpret data derived from experiments and describe and interpret experimental results.
  • LO8. Consider social, ethical and cultural issues that affect scientific enquiry and research methodology.
  • LO9. Take responsibility for your learning, including time management, and work independently as well as within a team.