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Brain Function and Psychotropic Drugs$
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Heather Ashton

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780192622426

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192622426.001.0001

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Antipsychotic and psychotomimetic drugs

Antipsychotic and psychotomimetic drugs

14. Antipsychotic and psychotomimetic drugs
Brain Function and Psychotropic Drugs

Heather Ashton

Oxford University Press

The antipsychotic drugs are a chemically heterogenous group with the property of controlling certain psychotic symptoms in man. The earlier drugs, reserpine and chlorpromazine, were described as neuroleptics, a term which differentiated their effects from those of classical central nervous system depressants. The neuroleptic syndrome consisted of suppression of spontaneous movements, disinterest in the environment, lack of emotional response, but little change in the level of consciousness. At the same time, neurological effects resembling Parkinsonism were described in the early reports, and for a while it was thought that these effects were inevitably connected with the antipsychotic effects. Some of the newer drugs, however, are relatively free of extrapyramidal effects and the term antipsychotic applies better than the term neuroleptic to the whole range of drugs.

Keywords:   antipsychotic drugs, neuroleptic syndrome, emotional response, central nervous system, Parkinsonism, extrapyramidal effects

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