Drugs Affecting the Nervous System

Subject PHRM30002 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 x one hour lectures per week (total contact hours: 36)
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours


BSc students:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013

BBiomed students:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Students wishing to undertake this subject as breadth will need the approval of the subject co-ordinator.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

This subject cannot be taken if credit has been previously obtained for 534-302 Neuropharmacology.

Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s programs.
This subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this with the subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit:



Academic Coordinators

Assoc Prof James Ziogas


Administrative Coordinator:

Ms Hong Nguyen


Subject Overview:

The workings of the brain and nervous system is an important frontier of modern medicine and nerves are the target for many important drugs. This subject will address how drugs modulate the processes of neuronal communication and survival in the context of the management of mood and emotional disorders, addictive behaviours, neuro-degenerative diseases, pain and epilepsy. This subject will also discuss strategies for the development of future therapeutics. Students will gain an appreciation of how a detailed understanding of pathological processes is important for the rational development of new therapeutics.


On successful completion of this unit, students will have developed a solid understanding of the nature of and drug treatments for a range of central nervous system diseases. The will have a knowledge of the nature of research into central nervous system disorders and of the therapeutic and the undesirable actions of key therapeutics and recreational drugs. An understanding of how knowing about pathological processes is important for the rational drug development.

  • Continuing assessments comprising LMS delivered assessments and a multiple choice question assessment delivered during the semester (30%)
  • A 2 hr examination in the examination period (70%)

Prescribed Texts:


Recommended Texts:

Nestler, Hymen & Malenka, Molecular Neuropharmacology McGraw Hill.

Golan et al., Principles of Pharmacology, 3rd Edition. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

By the end of this unit students will:

  • Be adept at learning in a range of ways.
  • Be able to examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge pertaining to drugs.
  • Have an understanding of the scientific basis of the action of drugs in the central nervous system.
  • Be able to integrate key pharmacological and other medical research principles as they relate to neuropharmacology.
  • Be adept at critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Participate in collaborative learning.

This subject is available to students enrolled in the BSc, Biomedicine degree.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Biomedical Biotechnology (specialisation of Biotechnology major)
Science credit subjects* for pre-2008 BSc, BASc and combined degree science courses
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG. Core selective subjects for B-BMED.

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