In line with other volumes in the Neuroscience Perspectives Series, this volume covers the background, pharmacology, molecular biology, and biochemistry of antipsychotic drugs, together with an overview assessment of the therapeutic considerations. Over the past 40 years, the effectiveness of conventional neuroleptic agents for psychotic illness has been offset by a wide range of adverse side-effects, including motor side-effects like parkinsonism. Studies show that lowering doses may still produce the antipsychotic effect while lessening the risk of side-effects. As all available antispychotic drugs are able to block dopamine, specifically D2 receptors, doses below the threshold level for producing acute motor disorder can still be therapeutically effective. With the identification and characterization of multiple dopamine receptors, the possibility of more selective drugs with better side-effect potential has arisen. Other novel antipsychotic agents include D1 receptor blockers, partial dopamine agonists and non-dopamine drugs such as 5-HT receptor blockers, sigma receptor antagonists and NMDA receptor agonists. This volume reviews both the basic science of the conventional and atypical neuroleptics and their present and potential therapeutic use.