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PSYC62H3 (313)
Chapter 1

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Zachariah Campbell

PSYC62: CH.1 Notes: Introduction to Psychopharmacology -psychopharmacology: Study of how drugs affect mood, perception, thinking, or behavior -psychoactive drugs : Drugs that affect mood, perception, thinking, or behavior by acting in the nervous system -2 sub types: behavioural psychopharmacology (how drugs affect behavior) and neuropsychopharmacology (how drugs affect the nervous system & in turn behavior) Why Read a Book on Psychopharmacology? -> 100 million antidepressant drug prescriptions/ year, >80 million anxiolytic, sedative, and hypnotic drugs are prescribed every year, > 200 million pain-relieving drug prescriptions are written every year -Recreational: >114 million adults drink on a regular basis, >25 million individuals use marijuana, >15 million individuals misuse a prescription drug, >70 million individuals use tobacco products -pharmacotherapeutics: Psychoactive treatments for disorders Drugs: Administered Substances That Alter Physiological Functions -drug: Administered substance that alters physiological functioning (ex. Even vitamins can be considered a drug because they7 alter physiological functioning) Psychoactive Drugs: Described by Manner of Use - A person uses a drug instrumentally toward addressing a specific purpose -therapeutic drugs: Drug used to treat a physical or mental disorder -Recreational use refers to using a drug entirely to experience its effects -misuse applies to drugs that are intended for instrumental purpose but are instead used recreationally -Drug abuse refers to drug use that causes harm to the user or others -Dependence can include the features of drug abuse, but a user also experiences a need or urge to continue using a substance Generic Names, Trade Names, and Street Names for Drugs -trade name: Drug name developed for marketing the drug -generic name: Names that show how drugs organizationally fit with other drugs (ex. antipsychotic drugs: chlorpromazine, clozapine, and olanzapine: all end in–ine, which corresponds to an amine chemical group in their structures) -Street names: Amphetamines (Bennies, black beauties), Benzodiazepines (Candy, downers, sleeping pills), Cocaine (Coke, rock, crack), Dextromethorphan -cough syrup (Robo, triple C), Marijuana (Joint, blunt, weed), Methamphetamine (Meth, ice, crystal), MDMA (Ecstasy, Adam) LSD (Acid, blotter) Phencyclidine (PCP, angel dust) Drug Effects: Determined by Dose -dose: Ratio of the amount of drug per an organism’s body weight -dose-effect curve : Depicts the level of a drug effect by dose -A doctor’s office records your weight, in part, to calculate drug dosing -ED50 value: Represents the dose at which 50% of an effect was observed -Potency: Amount of drug used to produce a certain level of effect -drug development: Multistep process of developing an effective, safe, and profitable therapeutic drug (researchers must determine a drug’s lethal dose: The ED50 for lethality dose-response curves is referred to as an LD50/TD50 value -The potency difference is calculated from dividing the most potent drug’s ED50value (highest) , by the least potent drug’s ED50 value (lowest) -LD50 values allow for the determination of a therapeutic index : Ratio of a drug’s a lethal dose- effect value relative to therapeutic dose-effect value -to calculate a therapeutic index divide an LD50 value by an ED50 value -A therapeutic index answers this question: How different is a dose that kills half of the subjects from a dose of the same drug that produces a full therapeutic effect in half of the subjects? -They often identify a lethal dose that caused only 1 percent of subjects to die—which is referred to as LD1—and divide this by a dose that achieved a 99-percent therapeutic effect—an ED99 (FDA etc. tends to use this conservative method) - Large therapeutic indexes derived from this calculation describe separate therapeutic and lethal dose-effect curves -not to say that every drug on the market has a large therapeutic index (ex. mood stabilizer lithium has a lethal dose near the therapeutic dose) Pharmacology: Pharmacodynamics, Pharmacokinetics, and Pharmacogenetics -pharmacodynamics : mechanisms of action for a drug (ex. Most addictive recreational drugs, act on the brain’s reward pathways to produce pleasurable effects) -Pharmacokinetics: A drug’s passage through the body (ex. why smoked cocaine reaches the brain more rapidly than snorted cocaine) -Pharmacogenetics: The study of how genetic differences influence a drug’s pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic effects (ex. many individuals are “fast metabolizers” for many drugs, so less of a drug stays intact in the body, resulting in weaker drug effects; this knowledge enables physicians to alter treatment plans) Psychoactive Drugs: Objective and Subjective Effects -objective effects: Pharmacological effects that can be directly observed by others (ex. Heart rate changes) -subjective effects: Pharmacological effects that cannot be directly observed by others (explain the purpose of recreational and addictive drug use and the therapeutic value of drugs;only the patient can say if medications truly help) -important scientific limitations: In particular, the drug’s subjective effects may vary from person to person so researchers must develop a consensus about a drug’s effects among many individuals and assume this consensus accurately reflects the drug’s effects Study Designs and the Assessment of Psychoactive Drugs -dependent variable: A study variable measured by a researcher -independent variable : Study conditions or treatments that may affect a dependent variable -correlational study: Study in which an investigator does not alter the independent variable - for example, to study the effects of long-term MDMA use on memory, a researcher might recruit participants with experiences with MDMA and then measure each participant’s ability to recall words from list, duration of MDMA use serves as the IV, and each participant’s level of memory serves as the DV. The investigators did not alter the independent variable, but instead studied duration of MDMA use and memory ability as they already existed - you might infer a relationship between MDMA use and memory if long-term MDMA users exhibited poor word recall, but infrequent MDMA users exhibited good word recall. However, correlational studies do not indicate that a variable causes changes to another variable -experimental Study: Study in which investigators alter an IV to determine if changes occur to the DV -Placebo: (aka vehicle) Substance identical in appearance to a drug but physiologically inert -treatment arms: Number of treatments and doses provided to patients described in a clinical study (ex. three-arm design may consist of a high-dose drug group, a low-dose drug group, and a placebo group) -clinical study reports: Detailed summaries of a clinical study’s design and results -single-blind procedure: When researchers do not inform study participants which treatment or placebo they received -double-blind procedure: When neither participants nor investigators know the treatment assignments during a study -open-label studies: Assignment of study treatments without using blinded procedures where disguising study medications may have important ethical consequences or be impractical (ex. many cancer clinical trials use open-label procedures because withholding a potential effective treatment from cancer patients by using a placebo might have serious health consequences) Experimental Validity: Addressing the Quality and Impact of an Experiment -experimental validity: Addresses the logical design of effective quality experimental studies, contains the following types of validity: -Internal validity: Adequacy of controlling variables that may influence a dependent variable (or successful elimination of confound variables: Variables other than independent variables that can cause changes to the dependent variables) -External validity: Ability to extend findings beyond experimental conditions -Face validity: A model appears similar to a disorder -Construct validity: A model contains mechanisms related to those of a di
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