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November 12, 1955

Neurochemistry: The Chemical Dynamics of Brain and Nerve

JAMA. 1955;159(11):1169-1170. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960280091028

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This monumental symposium by 32 leading biochemists, physiologists, and neurologists from the United States, Canada. Great Britain, and Sweden constitutes a review of present knowledge of the chemistry of the nervous system. As stated by the editors, such a book cannot be fully comprehensive. Nevertheless, its range is wide. Beginning with a dedicatory biographical sketch of J. L. W. Thudichum (1828-1901), who is described as the father of brain chemistry, it covers the chemical constituents of the nervous system, the basic chemical and metabolic changes underlying neurological function, and such fundamental physiological processes as tissue respiration, circulation of blood and spinal fluid, transmission of the nerve impulse, the exchange of electrolytes, and the wide-ranging actions of acetylcholine, cholinesterase, arterenol, and the steroid hormones. The chemistry of pathological states is also dealt with extensively, including the effects of neurotropic drugs, bacterial toxins, and snake venoms as well as the toxic effects

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