Degree course: 
Corso di Second cycle degree in BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (44 hours), Exercise (8 hours)

Basic knowledge of cellular and molecular pharmacology, neuroanatomy and neurophysiology

Final Examination: 

A written test (essay-based) will be administered at the end of the course. It will be based on 3 questions randomly chosen between all the topics presented during the course. Students must score at least 18/30 in order to pass the test

Voto Finale

The course introduces concepts in neuroscience and pharmacology to understand how drugs are used to treat psychiatric disorders, and why individuals use recreational drugs. It covers different classes of CNS drugs, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, antianxiety drugs, and both licit and illicit drugs of abuse.
On successful completion of the course, students will be able to
- describe the neurobiological basis of the main psychopathologies and their related pharmacological treatment
- specify the alleged mechanism of action of each class of drugs
- describe how pre-clinical evaluation of new drugs acting on CNS targets is conducted

Lectures (5.5 CFU, 44 hours)
- General discussion on chemical neurotransmission and the main targets of psychotropic drugs (neurotransporters,G protein linked receptors, enzymes, ligand gated and voltage gated ion channels)
- Methods in behavioral pharmacology and neuropharmacology
- Psychosis (symptomatology, neurobiological bases, animal models, and pharmacological treatment)
- Mood disorders (symptomatology, neurobiological bases, animal models, and pharmacological treatment)
-Anxiety disorders (symptomatology, neurobiological bases, animal models and pharmacological treatment)
- Disorders of sleep and their treatment
- Compulsivity and impulsivity: obsessive compulsive disorder
- Compulsivity and impulsivity: addiction (Cannabis, Alcohol and Psychostimulants)

Practical activities (0,5 CFU, 8 hours of laboratory)
In the first experience, students will learn how to prepare frozen brain section slides at the cryostat. In the second experience they will learn how to prepare an enriched sample of synaptic particles (synaptosome)

The following reference textbooks are recommended:
Stephen M. Stahl, “Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology” Cambridge University Press, IV edition
Jerold Meyer, Linda Quenzer “Psychopharmacology” Sinauer, second edition
Slide presentations used during lectures will be available on the e-learning website

The course consists of lectures and practical activities. Moreover, to help students develop presentation and critical analysis skills, some journal club talks will be organized.