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The Brain as a Drug Target - Volume 98 of Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science
Editor: Shafiqur Rahman
Pages:  453  Hard Cover
ISBN 13:
Academic Press/ Elsevier   2011
List Price:  $156.00

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MedicalScienceBooks.com Medical Book Review:

      The steady progression of the pathological and biochemical characterization of a variety of neurological diseases and disorders involving the central nervous system has generated interest in developing novel therapies from many research fronts.  Regardless of which particular neurotransmitter or signaling system a neuroscientist wishes to focus their efforts on however, the complexity of brain circuitry interactions requires that they consider their research questions from a broad base of often disorganized information in the primary literature.  The Brain as a Drug Target is a much needed addition to the literature as it provides a set of concise distillations of research in a number of “hot topic” areas in neuropharmacology in which the expression and manipulation of families of receptors found in the brain play a prominent role. 
       The editor has included an excellent selection of topics, some with more fully developed research lines than others, but all at the cutting edge of providing promising insights which will likely lead to numerous clinical breakthroughs in neurology, psychiatry and addiction medicine in the years to come.  Each of the ten chapters is written as a stand-alone review that comprehensively covers an area of research with a large majority of the referenced primary literature published within the last two decades.  The topics reflect a mixture of both the most recent developments in treatment targets that have been known for over 50 years such as the monoamine transporters and relatively brand new areas such as immunotherapy of glioblastoma and neuroprotection.
     The reader interested in neuropharmacology would do well to read this book cover to cover to gain a better appreciation of not only the breadth of its application but also to learn from the many overlaps which become evident with the multiple roles played by neurotransmitters in the brain.  For those who are more limited in time, Chapter 1 on the role of monoamine transporters in neuropsychiatric disorders is an excellent introduction to any area of interest given that these transporters are among the most studied drug targets in the brain.  The final four chapters are a nice mini-text on the molecular biology of the addiction/reward systems in the brain discussed from the vantage point of years of animal and pre-clinical studies.
     The Brain as a Drug Target is highly recommended for neuropharmacologists, and graduate students in the neurosciences who could benefit from surveying the fascinating world of brain chemistry and its impact on health and behavior.  Addiction specialists interested in a firm grounding in the biological aspects of the conditions they treat will also find this text highly informative. 

Ratings (1-4 , 4 being the highest):

Organization of information:    3

Usefulness of book:     3

Suitable for intended audience:    4

Author’s objectives met:      4

Significant number of illustrations:     2

Quality of illustrations:    2


The brain is protected by the blood-brain barrier and this barrier prevents many drugs from entering the brain. This volume discusses various drug delivery and targeting strategies that are being developed to enhance the transport and distribution of drugs into the brain. 

* Discusses new discoveries, approaches, and ideas * Contributions from leading scholars and industry experts * Reference guide for researchers involved in molecular biology and related fields


Table of Contents:


Monoamine Transporters: Vulnerable and Vital Doorkeepers
i. Introduction
ii. Clinical Benefits: Demonstration of the Medical Roles of Monoamine Transporters
iii. Preclinical Indications- Behavioral Pharmacology
iv. Molecular Study: cDNA Cloning and Structure Activity Relationship
v. Protein Regulations
vi. Animal Genetics
vii. The Transporter Genes as Risk Factors
viii. Perspectives for Medication Development

Therapeutic Targets in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Tauopathies
i. Introduction to the Disease
ii. Attempts at Abeta Therapy
iii. Tau Hypothesis
iv. Tau Therapeutic Targets
v. Concluding Remarks

Therapeutic Targets for Neuroprotection and/or Enhancement of Functional Recovery Following Traumatic Brain Injury
i. Introduction
ii. Primary Injury Models
iii. Receptor-Based Targets for Neuroprotection
iv. Targeting Enzymatic Activity for Neuroprotection
v. Other Promising Strategies
vi. Future Directions for Optimization for Treatment Regimens

Insulin, Synaptic Function, and Opportunities for Neuroprotection
i. Introduction
ii. Insulin Within the Central Nervous System
iii. Insulin Receptors Within the Brain
iv. Insulin Signaling and Synaptic Function
v. Therapeutic Opportunities: Insulin and Neuroprotection
vi. General Summary

Molecular Alterations in Glioblastoma: Potential Targets for Immunotherapy
i. Introduction
ii. Genetic Alterations in Glioblastoma
iii. Ags and Biomarkers in Glioblastoma
iv. Ag-Specific Immunotherapy for Glioblastoma
v. Biomarker-Specific Chemotherapy for Gioblastoma
vi. Cytokine-Based Immunotherapy for Glioblastoma
vii. Chemoimmunotherapy for Gioblastoma
viii. Tumor-Associated Molecules Influencing Glioblastoma
ix. Conclusions

Molecular Signaling and Translational Significance of the Corticotropin Releasing Factor System
i. Introduction to the Corticotropin Releasing Factor Peptide Family
ii. Neural CRF Distribution
iii. CRF Binding and Signal Transduction
iv. Genes and Gene Systems Activated by CRF
v. Interactions with Other Neural Circuits
vi. Translational Significance of CRF
vii. Integrated CRF Function

Molecular Targets of Alcohol Action: Translational Research for Pharmacotherapy Development and Screening
i. Introduction
ii. Alcohol abuse and Dependence, Significance, and Treatment Needs
iii. Preclinical Strategies for Identification of Novel Targets of Alcohol Action
iv. Translational Strategies and Need for Continued Biomarkers Development

Brain Nicotinic Receptors as Emerging Targets for Drug Addiction: Neurobiology to Translational Research
i. Introduction
ii. Brain nAChRs in Nicotine Addiction
iii. Brain NAChRs in Alcohol Dependence
iv. Brain nAChRs in Other Addictive Disorders
v. Limitations in nAChr-Based Translational Research
vi. Conclusions and Future Perspectives

Glutamatergic Neuroplasticity in Cocaine Addiction
i. Introduction
ii. Neurocircuitry of Addiction
iii. Adaptations in Synaptic Plasticity
iv. Glutamate Homeostasis Hypothesis of Cocaine Addiction
v. Redox Regulation of Neurons
vi. Promise for Glutamate-Mediated Pharmacotherapies for Addiction
vii. Conclusion

Role of the Serotonergic System in Alcohol Dependence: From Animal Models to Clinics
i. Introduction
ii. The Role of 5-HTT in Alcohol-Directed Neuroadaptation, Intoxication Response, and Potential for Abuse and Dependence
iii. Serotonergic Receptors: Molecular, Pharmacological, and Physiological Aspects and Their Role in Alcohol Dependence
iv. Interactions Between the Serotonergic System and Other Neurotransmitter Systems in the Modulation of Alcohol Consumption
v. Serotonergic System as a Potential Therapeutic Target in Alcohol Dependence/Addiction
vi. Conclusions


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