Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Hilton A. Smith, Calvin A. Buehler

Committee Members

Andrew Larimer, D. A. Shirley, John W. Prados


Introduction: Medicinal chemistry is one of the areas of scientific endeavor which has been achieving increasing importance during the last two decades. It tends to become more and more the study of the chemical reactions between therapeutic agents and living tissues. In 1940 practically nothing was known about the processes by which drugs produce their effect, how they react with protoplasm and how they are in turn modified, detoxified, metabolized, or eliminated by living organisms. Appreciable progress in this direction is now being made.

Recent advances in such a field are by no means defined. Countless drugs have been introduced for the specific treatment of ailment, but it is only after constant trials that the value of any compound can be accurately assessed. When the period of the last ten years is surveyed as a whole, it is apparent that certain definite advances have been made in medicinal chemistry. In addition to the use of new compounds, a better understanding has been gained of the mode of action of well-established medicaments.

An attempt will therefore be made to describe here briefly recent advances in the fields of anticholinergics, anticholinesterases, inhibitors of anticholinesterases and tranquilizers. However, the synthetic organic approach to new antispasmodic and tranquilizing drugs and their molecular structural relationship to physiological activity are of primary interest.

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