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Drug Discovery for Nervous System Diseases

ISBN: 978-0-471-46563-8
319 pages
November 2004
Drug Discovery for Nervous System Diseases (0471465631) cover image


The neurosciences have been an especially difficult field for drug discovery. Because of the huge complexity of the nervous system and poor understanding of most psychiatric and neurological diseases, most drugs currently available are the result of chance observations rather than a truly comprehensive approach. However, this situation has begun to change. Enormous progress in molecular biology has yielded breakthrough discoveries of the causes of nervous system diseases, opening the door for better-targeted and entirely novel therapies.
Reflecting these recent advances, Drug Discovery for Nervous System Diseases presents the latest techniques and approaches for drug discovery, organizing them according to diseases rather than classes of drugs or drug targets, as past books have done. Written with optimistic anticipation of great progress still to come, this text provides both a guide to present realities and a look to future possibilities in this burgeoning field.

Coverage in Drug Discovery for Nervous System Diseases includes:

* Fundamentals of drug discovery-receptors, target selection, and drug development
* Schizophrenia
* Depression
* Anxiety disorders
* Alzheimer's disease
* Parkinson's disease
* Ischemic stroke, brain, and spinal cord injury
* Other neurodegenerative diseases
* Sleep disorders
* Epilepsy
* Pain

This practical handbook features a uniform presentation for each chapter, with a brief description of existing drugs leading to recent molecular biological and genetic findings, translational research and the interface to clinical trials, and finally an outlook on future drug targets. Rich illustrations-schematic diagrams and tables-provide a dynamic visual experience throughout the text.

A unique and up-to-date guide to a field currently undergoing a major growth spurt, Drug Discovery for Nervous System Diseases offers both practitioners and advanced students an unparalleled resource.
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Table of Contents


1. Introduction.

2. Drug Receptors and the Fundamentals of Pharmacology.

3. Drug Discovery.

4. Drug Target Selection for Nervous System Diseases.

5. From Drug Target to Drug, Neuroscience Specific Problems.

6. Schizophrenia.

7. Depression.

8. Anxiety Disorders.

9. Alzheimer’s Disease.

10. Parkinson’s Disease.

11. Ischemic Stroke, Brain and Spinal Cord Injury.

12. Other Neurodegenerative Diseases.

13. Sleep Disorders.

14. Epilepsy.

15. Pain.


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Author Information

Franz F. Hefti, PhD, held academic positions between 1985 and 1995, first as Associate Professor at the University of Miami, Florida, than as Professor with endowed chair at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He conducted pioneering research in the area of neurotrophic factors by demonstrating that these proteins can rescue dying nerve cells in the adult brain. He has served as Director of Neuroscience Research at Genentech Inc., pursuing industrial applications of his research on neurotrophic factors, leading to phase III trials with nerve growth factor. Since 1995 his activities have been dedicated to the discovery of novel drugs for neurological and psychiatric diseases in the pharmaceutical industry. From 1995 to 2001 he was Vice President at Merck Research Laboratories and Director of The Neuroscience Research Centre of Merck Sharp & Dohme. He later served as Senior Vice President of Neuroscience Research at Merck & Co.
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"It is a book I enjoyed reading; it is both expression and science." (Journal of Natural Products, October 2005)

"…an outstanding overview of the current state of drug discovery…" (Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy, No. 10, 2005)

"…handy for old-timers who need a quick refresher on current therapy for neurological disorders." (Current Separations, August 2005)

"…highly readable and informative. The entire book is carefully organized and very well written. It provides an excellent resource…" (American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, Volume 69, Issue 4, 2005)

"…recommended for all practitioners and advanced students who have an interest in this field." (E-STREAMS, August 2005)

"...unique in providing an overview and synthesis of the current state of research on diseases of the nervous system, relevant pharmacological principles, and…the drug discovery process." (Doody's Book Review Service)

"The text gives an overview of the state of current research, but also gives an outlook on possible future drug targets." (Drug Discovery & Development, February 2005)

“...a marvelous text that offers the medical community a new perspective on both treatment and research.…” (Electric Review, November 2004)

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