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Second Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[60/72]  NEUROPSYCHOBIOLOGY [60/72-00 - Ord. 2020]  PERCORSO COMUNE 6 48


Provide knowledge about the mechanism of action of the main active drugs on the function of neurotransmission that regulate mood, emotions, sleep, learning processes, memory, and pain. The drugs are proposed as a tool to reveal the neurochemical mechanisms underlying these functions and diseases related to them. The functional changes associated with many diseases of the central nervous system (Anxiety-Depression, Psychosis and Mania, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Hunghtinton diseaseCorea etc.) and experimental models of these diseases will be discussed.
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING: The aim of the course is to provide students with basic knowledge in the field of neuro-psychopharmacology and psychobiology. The student will acquire updated knowledge on:
- The neurobiology of the most important diseases of the central nervous system (anxiety-depression, psychosis, bipolar disorder, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Hunghtinton's disease), the role of neurotransmitters and growth factors, with special reference to the dopaminergic, noradrenergic, serotonergic , gabaergic and glutamatergic systems, genes and vulnerability to mental illness.
- The main principles of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the action of psychotropic drugs and the molecular and cellular basis of mental pathology.
- Knowledge of behavioral and neurophysiological effects of drugs acting on the nervous system
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING. The course will provide to the students the ability to use the knowledge gained to design and implement research in the neuropsychopharmacology.
Students will acquire the ability to independently evaluate and analyse experimental data obtained from the scientific literature regarding neuropsychopharmacology.
Students will acquire the ability to process, illustrate and discuss experimental data, both orally as well as in written form. This ability will be evaluated through presentation of scientific papers as part of the final examination.
Students will acquire the ability to use the computer tools necessary for retrieval of the international scientific literature related to the course topic.


The student should have a sound knowledge of neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, molecular biology, physiology, and genetics


Neuropsychopharmacology (6CFU)
Introduction to Neuropsychopharmacology
Biological basis of depression. Tricyclic antidepressants. MAO inhibitors. Serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Inhibitors of SE and NA reuptake (SNRI). NA reuptake inhibitors (NRIs). alpha2 and 5HT receptor blockers (NASSA).
Biological basis of anxiety. Benzodiazepines, Buspirone, Anxiogenic drugs: Beta Carboline.
Sedatives and hypnotics: Cyclopyrrolones, Imidazopyridines, Pirazolpirimidine, Melatonina, Ramelteon.
Biological basis of psychosis. Antipsychotic drugs: Phenothiazines, Butyrophenones. atypical Antipsychotics
Bipolar disorders: Lithium, valproic acid
Biological bases Epilepsy: Anticonvulsant Drugs
Opioid Analgesics: Morphine and its derivatives. Opioid antagonists.
Biological bases of Parkinson's disease. L-DOPA-decarboxylase inhibitors. Dopamine agonists. MAO inhibitors. Cholinergic antagonists. MPTP
Biological basis of Alzheimer’s disease: Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, Memantine
Biological Basis of Hunghtinton’s disease
Xanthines: Adenosine: functional aspects. Caffeine Theobromine. Theophylline.

Teaching Methods

The course consists of lectures, which include the use of PowerPoint presentations
For the courses delivered in the first semester, the teaching will be simultaneously in presence and online, thus outlining a mixed teaching that can be enjoyed in university classrooms but at the same time also at a distance. At the beginning of the semester, the student will opt for face-to-face or distance teaching, the choice will be binding for the entire semester. If the number of students exceeds the capacity of the classrooms, determined on the basis of government provisions on health matters for the purpose of combating the pandemic by Covid-19, access to teaching facilities will be regulated through a shift system that will be communicated in due time to interested students. The method of delivery has not yet been established for the courses provided in the second semester

Verification of learning

The modality of the final exam will be defined depending on the provisions aimed at containing the pandemic.

The final rating takes into account several factors:
Quality of knowledge: correctness and consistency
a) Capacity expressive
b) Proper use of the specific language of the discipline;
c) Logical and consequential capacity in the fitting of the contents;
e) Ability to associate different topics by finding common points and establish a consistent overall design
f) Ability to summarize through the use of symbolism on the matter, and the graphic expression of ideas and conceptsConsequently, judgment may be:
A) Sufficient (from 18 to 20/30)
The candidate demonstrates little acquired knowledge, superficial level, many gaps. Expressive capacity modest, but still sufficient to support a coherent dialogue; Logical capacity and consequentiality in linking elementary level arguments; Poor synthesis capacity and graphical expression capabilities rather stunted; Poor interaction with the teacher.
B) Fair (21 to 23)
The candidate demonstrates discrete acquisition of notions, but little depth, few gaps; Expressive capacity more than enough to support a coherent dialogue; Acceptable mastery of scientific language; Logical capacity and consequentiality in the connection of moderate complexity topics.
C) Good (from 24 to 26)
The candidate demonstrates a wealth of notions of rather broad, moderate depth, with little gaps; Satisfactory expressive capacity and significant mastery of scientific language; Prominent dialogic and critical spirit; Good synthesis capability.
) Excellent (30)
The candidate demonstrates a wealth of extensive and in-depth knowledge, any irrelevant gaps; High expressive capacity and high level of mastery of scientific language; Excellent dialogic capacity, a strong ability to make connections between different topics.
Laude is given to candidates well above the average.


Goodman & Gilman's - Le basi farmacologiche della terapia - Ed. Mc Zanichelli, Milano

- Golan et al., - Principi di Farmacologia - Ed. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana

- Clementi & Fumagalli - Farmacologia generale e molecolare - Ed. UTET, Torino

- Rossi-Cuomo-Riccardi - Farmacologia- Principi di base e applicazioni terapeutiche - Ed. Minerva Medica

- L.A Friberg -Psicologia Biologica-Ed Zanichelli

More Information

Additional text and / or scientific publications on the subject will be provided.

Questionnaire and social

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