Drugs and the Brain

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Provider rating: starstarstarstar_borderstar_border 6.3 Coursera (CC) has an average rating of 6.3 (out of 4 reviews)

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Description

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  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

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

About the Course

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 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 Br…

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Frequently asked questions

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Didn't find what you were looking for? See also: Neuroscience, Chemistry, Pharma, Change Management, and Online MBA.

When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

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

About the Course

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 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.

About the Instructor(s)

Henry A. Lester, Ph. D., is Bren Professor and Executive Officer for Neuroscience at the California Institute of Technology, where he has spent his entire teaching career. He has written almost 300 scientific papers and holds seven patents on drugs and the brain, including topics such as nicotine addiction and Parkinson’s disease. He served as President of the Biophysical Society and as a member of the Advisory Council of the U. S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). He has conducted research sponsored by the California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, the McKnight Endowment for Neuroscience, NIMH, and the National Institutes of Drug Abuse, Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), Aging, Heart and Lung, and General Medical Science. He received the Fuller Award in Neuropharmacology from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the Cole Award in Membranes from the Biophysical Society, and two NINDS Jacob K. Javits Awards. He received degrees from Harvard and Rockefeller Universities.

Course Syllabus

Week 1. Introductory concepts. Drugs, drug receptors, neuroscience. Resting potentials. Equivalent circuits.

Week 2. Drugs open and block ion channels. Dose-response relations. Desensitization. Epilepsy drugs. Drugs activate and block G protein pathways.

Week 3. Drugs block neurotransmitter transporters. Recreational drugs. Nicotine Addiction.

Week 4. Drugs for neurodegenerative diseases.

Week 5. Drugs for psychiatric diseases. Developing new drugs.

Year-end holidaysFormally, we'll take a two-week break after Week 3, Sun Dec. 23 - Fri., Jan. 5. Then we'll continue.

Recommended Background

Neuroscience, the most interdisciplinary science of the 21st century, receives inputs from many other fields of science, medicine, clinical practice, and technology. Previous exposure to one or more of the subjects listed in "Suggested Readings" will provide a good vantage point, as we introduce material from these subjects.

Suggested Readings

We recommend (but do not require) that students read
 Molecular Neuropharmacology: A Foundation for Clinical Neuroscience (Second Edition)
by Eric Nestler, Steven Hyman, and Robert Malenka.

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.

Course Format

The class consists of lecture videos, 8 - 15 minutes in length. These contain 2-3 integrated quiz questions per video. There are standalone quizzes each week.

FAQ

  • What about the holiday season?
Formally, we'll take a two-week break Sun Dec. 23 - Fri., Jan. 5, then continue.
  •  Will I learn enough to prescribe / advise / diagnose / change my friends’ medication? My own medication?

    The instructor is not an MD and cannot prescribe. Don’t change any medication you now receive as a result of this course.

  • Which courses should I plan next?

    “Drugs and the Brain” is the first in a Caltech / Coursera sequence on modern neuroscience.

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  • Statements of completion?

    The instructor and Coursera will issue such a statement. 

Provided by:

University: California Institute of Technology

Instructor(s): Henry A. Lester

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There are no frequently asked questions yet. Send an Email to info@springest.com