History of Neurochemistry


Neurochemistry, the biochemistry of the nervous system, became a recognized research discipline in the 1950s, but its origins can be traced to antiquity.

Keywords: neurotransmission; brain lipids; brain metabolism; neuroplasticity; dementia

Further Reading

Drabkin DL (1958) Thudichum: Chemist of the Brain. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Finger S (2000) Otto Loewi and Henry Dale: the discovery of neurotransmitters. In: Minds behind the Brain, pp. 259–279. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McIlwain H (1988) Neurochemistry and related terms: their introduction and acceptance. Neurochemistry International 12: 431–438.

McIlwain H (1990) Biochemistry and neurochemistry in the 1800s: their origins in comparative animal chemistry. Essays in Biochemistry 25: 197–224.

Prusiner SB (1998) Prions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 95: 13363–13383.

Siegel GJ, Agranoff BW, Albers RW, Fisher SK and Uhler MD (eds) (1999) Basic Neurochemistry, 6th edn. Philadelphia/New York: Lippincott‐Raven.

Sourkes TL (1992) The origins of neurochemistry: The chemical study of the brain in France at the end of the eighteenth century. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 47: 322–339.

Tower DB (1958) Origins and development of neurochemistry. Neurology 8 (supplement 1): 3–31.

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Agranoff, Bernard W(Jul 2003) History of Neurochemistry. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0003465]