Neuroleptic - Definition

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Definition


An antipsychotic, or neuroleptic, substance is a molecule that acts on the nervous system by simultaneously modifying agitation and neuronal activity. These types of medication counteract the messages relayed by a neurotransmitter, that is a chemical molecule involved in the circulation of information: dopamine. Antipsychotic medication represents a large family of drugs prescribed primarily to combat mental problems of varying severity that are linked to nervous system impairment, such as hallucinations, delirious episodes, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder. Some of these drugs act rather to calm agitation, or potentially aggression, and are classified as sedative neuroleptics. Given their direct effect on the nervous system, antipsychotic drugs are not without adverse effects, yet they must sometimes be taken for the rest of a patient's life, particularly for certain types of psychosis.