Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)



Polyuria Pons

Postsynaptic Post-traumatic stress


Prepulse inhibition (PPI)

Presynaptic Prion disease

Protein kinases

Psychological dependence


Psychotropic drug


Putamen QT interval

Blood from which the cells have been removed but without the blood being allowed to clot. Small blood constituents formed from APUD cells which are involved in blood clotting. Platelets are also called thrombocytes. Excessive drinking.

Technique using enzymes and specific primers to generate multiple copies of the original (usually viral) nucleic acid, thereby increasing its numbers so that it may more easily be detected. Occurrence of two or more gene structures in the same population.

Protein-like molecule consisting of a chain of amino acids.

Voiding of excessive amounts of urine. Area of the hindbrain under the cerebellum. Part of the membrane lying adjacent to the nerve terminal that contains the postsynaptic receptors. Anxiety disorder attributed to a severe, adverse life experience (e.g. threat to life) that is experienced again without the stimulus of the adverse experience. Usually used in reference to compounds which are metabolized in neurotransmitters (e.g. tryptophan is the precursor of 5-hydroxytryptamine). Partially automatic response involving an inhibitory process in which the normal startle reflex is reduced when the startling stimulus is preceded 30-50 msec earlier by a weak prepulse. This provides an operational measure of sensory motor gating. Events or structures occurring proximal to the synapse. Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy is an example, together with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Caused by abnormal proteins.

A group of enzymes that transfer charged phosphate groups on proteins, thereby regulating intracellular processes in response to extracellular signals (see PI system).

Dysphoria and craving which arise following the abrupt withdrawal of a drug of abuse. A psychiatric condition in which contact with reality and insight are lost.

A drug acting on the brain to cause a change in mood or behaviour.

Neurons in the brain and heart that secrete purine neurotransmitters such as adenosine. Area of the brain within the corpus striatum. Electrocardiographic measure that estimates an entire cycle of electrical depolarization and repolar-ization and which varies with age, gender and heart rate.


Radiolabelled compound



Rank order Raphe nuclei

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep

Rating scale Rebound


Recombinant DNA

Regulatory sequence Reinforcement


Restriction enzyme

Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP)

Reticular formation

Reverse transcriptase Saccade

Assay technique in which an antibody against a specific compound is used to measure the concentration of that compound.

Compound synthesized to contain one or more radioactive atoms (usually 3H or 14C). Chance allocation of study subjects to either the control or experimental group.

Arrangement by order of magnitude of components in a series.

Set of markers ranked from the lowest to the highest, or vice versa.

These are serotonin containing neurons that project from the brainstem throughout the brain and act as filters for sensory impulses.

Stage of sleep associated with high frequency, low voltage waves on the electroencephalogram. It is linked with dreaming, rapid movement of the eyes and pronounced changes in blood pressure and respiration.

Instrument to record and quantify the extended magnitude of a trait.

Recurrence of symptoms of the original disorder after discontinuation of the drug; the symptoms are of equal or greater intensity to those occurring before the start of the drug treatment.

A protein-containing site in the neuronal cell wall to which a natural or synthetic ligand may bind to produce a physiological or pharmacological effect. Technique to manipulate and clone DNA molecules. This type of DNA consists of a vector for propagation of the nucleotide sequence and an insertor site. Region of DNA responsible for regulating the transcription of the gene.

The process by which a specific stimulus appears to increase the probability that a particular behaviour will occur.

Re-emergence of symptoms that improved spontaneously or following treatment. Enzyme that recognizes short stretches (4-8 base pairs) in a sequence-specific manner and cleaves the DNA at specific points.

Genetic tool from the direct analysis of the human genome to detect new genes that predispose to genetic disease.

Brainstem region consisting of the tegmental part of the medulla, pons and midbrain; plays a major role in sleep and wakefulness.

Enzyme that forms complementary DNA (cDNA). Abrupt, high velocity eye movement produced by a precisely timed pattern of activity in the motor neurons innervating the extraocular muscles.

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