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February 1, 1980

Neurochemical Mechanisms of Opiates and Endorphins

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago


(vol 20, Advances in Biochemical Psychopharmacology), edited by Horace Loh and David Ross, 563 pp, with illus, $39, New York, Raven Press, 1979.

JAMA. 1980;243(5):470. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300310058031

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This volume comprises 21 articles that present a fairly complete survey of current opiate research. As such, it is a primary resource for scientists working with opiates and opiate peptides. However, the research it presents is also of considerable exemplary value to other neurobiologists and to neuropharmacologists.

Unfortunately, in a scientific area where the tempo of discovery is extremely rapid, it is difficult for an edition of this sort to remain current for long. Moreover, due to the youth of this field, many of the biochemical details of the synthesis of the opiate peptides and their precursor forms are sketchy, and the theories of the activities and the actions of the peptides remain tentative. It would be premature to take the title of the volume too seriously in terms of providing a final integrated view of the mechanism of opiates and endorphins.

This should not be interpreted as a criticism