An Introduction to Neuroendocrinology 2nd Edition PDF

An Introduction to Neuroendocrinology 2nd Edition PDF



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Preface

In this second edition of An Introduction to Neuroendocrinology, we have rewritten and greatly extended the original content. The revised text includes entirely new reference lists and a complete new set of illustrations. The book reflects the many advances that have occurred in the study of neuroendocrinology during the past 20 years. Nevertheless, and although the text is based largely on modern references, our primary aim is to provide an introductory description of mammalian neuroendocrine control systems. Several books are available that cover this topical and clinically relevant field, but, although valuable, these tend to be advanced texts of the edited, multi-author type. Our book is designed to provide the basic principles necessary to understand how the brain controls, and responds to, the endocrine hormones. It will be suitable for a variety of different students and especially those who might not have been previously exposed to a focused course in neuroendocrinology. Thus, students in psychology, biology and science should be able to master much of the basic material. However, the book is also highly appropriate for honors students and first-year graduate students in physiology, anatomy, neuroscience and medicine. This book is therefore designed for students in two levels of classes: introductory classes, in which all of the material will be new to the student, and more advanced classes, in which the students will be familiar with many of the terms and concepts through courses in biology, physiology, psychology or neuroscience, but who have not studied neuroendocrinology as an integrated discipline.
This book offers an overall outline of the neuroendocrine system and will provide the vocabulary necessary to understand the interaction between hormones and the brain. In addition, we provide a concise description of those topics that must underpin any attempt to learn, and to teach, neuroendocrinology. For example, there are chapters on basic neuroscience (neurotransmitters and neuropeptides), the physiology of the endocrine glands (hormones), receptors and receptor signaling mechanisms (e.g. G proteins; nuclear receptors), hormone assay and gene expression techniques (e.g. ELISA; in situhybridization)
and a description of the immune system, with particular emphasis on the integration of immune and neuroendocrine pathways. This basic information is also essential to understand the profound effects of hormones on behavior, described in Chapter 14. Once this material is mastered, the study of how hormones influence developmental neural processes and behavior will be easier. Moreover, we have included throughout the book references to the clinical relevance of many topics; for example, the influence of neuropeptides in the control of body weight and obesity. However, this book focuses primarily on the neural actions of hormones, and many of the peripheral physiological actions of hormones, such as regulation of metabolism, water balance, growth, and the regulation of calcium, sodium and potassium levels, which are the focus of traditional endocrinology texts, are referred to only in reference to their importance in the neuroendocrine system.
The introductory (second- or third-year undergraduate) student can be expected to follow the material in this book at the level presented. To help in this, review/study questions are given at the end of each chapter. These should be treated as practice examination questions and answered after each chapter is completed. For further detailed information on the topics covered in each chapter, all students can consult selected references provided in the text. Additional references under “Further reading” are also included at the end of each chapter and these will be particularly useful to the more advanced student. The book will be especially relevant for more advanced (honors and graduate) students who can use this book as an introductory account of the subject matter covered in each chapter. These students may then take advantage of the many references cited in each chapter to provide current and relevant information on each topic. The essay questions at the end of each chapter also serve to provide topics for discussion, analysis and directed research papers for the advanced student.


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