Evaluate the predominant theory or theories regarding the biological basis of the disorder.

Critical Review

The final assignment for this class will be a 10-page critical review of the drug treatment for a psychiatric disorder (broadly defined to include psychological and neurological disorders as well). The review will use peer-reviewed sources to evaluate the current drug treatment modalities for the selected disorder and determine the adequacy of those treatments. The paper will be evaluated on the inclusion of the following information:


Evaluate the disorder in terms of symptomatic and behavioral presentation. Include the time, course, and progression of the disorder. Evaluate and explain special features of the disease epidemiology.


Evaluate the predominant theory or theories regarding the biological basis of the disorder. Explain the disorder in terms of pertinent neurotransmitter and receptor theories and describe the pertinent evidence of their involvement.  Analyze the neurotransmitter systems in terms of the involved receptors and the use receptor agonists and antagonists in the treatment of the disorder receptor. Include information on the anatomic changes to the central nervous system as appropriate to the topic.


Evaluate drug therapies for treating the disorder based on the current understanding of the biological basis of the disorder and the corresponding behavioral effects of the disorder. Explain pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in relation to the disorder and corresponding drug treatment. Describe any side effects and adverse effects of the drug treatment and their biological basis, including issues related to contraindications, interactions, drug metabolism, and elimination. In addition, explain risks, benefits, and ethical implications for high-risk and exceptional treatment conditions.


Summarize theories of psychiatric disease as they relate to principles of drug action within the chosen topic. Evaluate advantages and disadvantages of the current theory of the disorder and its treatment and evaluate any controversies regarding ethical and/or risk-benefits perspectives associated with the current treatment. Describe possible areas for future research.


Writing the Critical Review

The paper:

  • Must be 10 to 12 double-spaced pages in length (not including title and reference pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined
  • Must include a separate title page with the following:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  • Must use at least five peer-reviewed sources in addition to the course text.
  • Must document all sources in APA style as outlined
  • Must include a separate reference page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined
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