CLINICAL NEUROPHARMACOLOGY AND BEHAVIOURAL PHARMACOLOGY
Learning outcomes of the course unit
At the end of the course the student should have acquired knowledge regarding general and special neuropharmacology. In detail, the student should be able to:
1. know the mechanisms of action of drugs and the drug-receptor and drug-drug interactions. Know the most important classes of drugs used in clinical neuropharmacology in dogs and cats. Be able to employ the appropriate scientific language and terminology. (knowledge and understanding)
2. understand the therapeutic properties of the different drugs and their adverse effects/interactions. (applying knowledge and understanding)
3. explain the results of the studies and drug properties also to an audience of non-experts. (communication skills)
4. choose the right drug belonging to a specific class on the basis of the acquired knowledge and clinical needs. (making judgements)
5. link the different topics treated in the course among themselves and to other disciplines of the academic degree course. (learning skills)
Course contents summary
The course provides the students with essential concepts about SNC pharmacology and pharmacological treatment of the main behavioural disorders in dogs and cat. In particular, the student will have to know the most important classes of drugs used in behavioural pharmacology: antidepressant drugs (TCA, MAOI, SSRI, etc), phenothiazine tranquilizers, benzodiazepines, azapirones, and other agents. The student will be also provided with knowledge regarding non-pharmacological approach to the patient with behaviour disorders, contention techniques for aggressive animals, drug interactions and treatment of pediatric patient.
Drug used in behavioral disorders:
Sedatives and tranquilizers; antidepressant (TCA, SSRI, IMAO, etc.). Other drugs.
Non-pharmacological approach to main behavioral disorders in dog and cat. Therapeutic choice. Restraint methods for aggressive or wild animals. Interactions between drugs. Treating the pediatric patient.
Colangeli - Fassola Giussani - Merola – Possenti- Medicina Comportamentale del cane e del gatto e di nuovi animali da Compagnia, 2015; Poletto Editore
Sharon Crowell-Davis, Thomas Murray - Veterinary Psychopharmacology, 2006; Blackwell Publishing
The students are however reminded that the textbook has to be integrated with the teacher's lessons.
Students can download pdf files of the lessons from Elly Platform (http://elly.veterinaria.unipr.it/2017/)
The course includes frontal lessons which provide knowledge about general pharmacology and the most relevant groups of drugs employed for behavioral disorders; moreover teachers and students will discuss clinical cases and the best therapeutic choice for the animals. Furthermore, the course will provide also knowledge about drug interactions and the specific treatment of pediatric patients.
During the course, some lessons may be made by practitioneers expert in the field.
Assessment methods and criteria
The evaluation of the knowledge acquired by the student in the course of Clinical Neuropharmacology and behavioural pharmacology is made by means of a written test. The student, therefore, after online registration to the official exam calendar published on the Department of Veterinary Science website, will have to perform a written exam, 1-hour duration, consisting of answering to fifteen multiple-response questions regarding topics of the course. For every question of the test the following score will be attributed: +2.5 points for each correct answer; 0 points for each not given answer; -0.5 for each wrong answer. The results will be published on Esse3 portal within 1 week from the date of the exam. The students can ask to view their tests following an agreement with the teacher. To the students with diagnosis of specific learning disability (DSA) certified under law n. 170/2010, proper specific support will be provided.
9 examination sessions are scheduled throughout the academic year, as reported on ESSE3 platform website. 5 more sessions are scheduled for so called "fuori corso e ripetenti" students. A minimun of 14 days is required between two subsequent examination sessions. The examining board consists of at least two teachers.