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Cellular and Molecular Foundations of Neuropsychopharmacology 

Cellular and Molecular Foundations of Neuropsychopharmacology
Chapter:
Cellular and Molecular Foundations of Neuropsychopharmacology
Author(s):

Leslie L. Iversen

, Susan D. Iversen

, Floyd E. Bloom

, and Robert H. Roth

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780195380538.003.0012
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date: 30 May 2020

As we begin to consider the particular problems that underlie the analysis of drug actions in the central nervous system, the curious student will ask “Just what is so special about nervous tissue?” Nerve cells have three special properties that distinguish them from all other cells in an individual. First, they are morphologically highly heterogeneous in size and shape. Second, neurons can conduct bioelectric signals for long distances in the body without any loss of signal strength. Third, they possess specific intercellular connections with other nerve cells and with innervated tissues such as muscles and glands. These connections determine the types of information a neuron can receive and the range of responses it can yield in return.

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