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Medical Pharmacology & Therapeutics I:The Nervous System

  • Course Number: GMS 6520
  • Credit Hours: 2 credit hours
  • Course FormatOnline and asynchronous 
  • Course SyllabusView Full Course Details

Course Description

This course covers the fundamentals of small molecule drugs and therapeutic biologics that target the nervous system. Students will learn about alcohol, painkillers and psychological medications, among other substances. Students will complete this course prepared for more advanced studies of pharmacology and therapeutics in the context of human physiology and pathophysiology.

Topics Covered:

  • Intro to the Nervous System
  • Autonomic Pharmacology
  • Cholinergic Drugs
  • Cholinergic Function in the CNS/Alzheimer’s
  • Nicotine Addiction
  • Adrenergic Drugs
  • Opioid Drugs
  • Anxiolytics
  • Alcohol
  • Antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Anti-Parkinson Drugs
  • Antipsychotic Drugs
  • Ocular Drugs

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand the diversity of small molecule drugs and biologics that target the nervous system.
  1. Understand the mechanisms by which drugs and biologics targeting the nervous system act in the body and at their targets, including the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of these agents.
  1. Demonstrate the ability to apply pharmacological principles of clinical and basic science relevancy by multiple-choice examinations, research assignments and quiz exercises.

Final Grade Calculation

  • 50% problem sets
  • 20% research assignments:
    • Autonomic pharmacology
    • Pharmacology of pain medications
  • 30% final exam


This course requires a BA or BS and a strong science foundation with at least five full-semester courses related to biology, chemistry and/or physics.