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Schizophrenia: a review of neuropharmacology

  • J. Lyne
  • B. D. Kelly
  • W. T. O’ Connor
Review

Abstract

Background

The last few decades have seen significant advances in our understanding of the neurochemical basis of schizophrenia.

Aims

To describe the neurotransmitter systems and nerve circuits implicated in schizophrenia; to compare the neuropharmacology of typical and atypical anti-psychotic agents; and to describe recent developments in the pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia.

Methods

Relevant pharmacological, neurophysiological and psychiatric literature was examined and reviewed.

Results

Schizophrenia is associated with abnormalities of multiple neurotransmitter systems, including dopamine, serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid and glutamate. Typical and atypical antipsychotic agents differ in their receptorbinding affinities, which are related to their differing side-effect profiles. Novel therapeutic strategies include normalisation of synaptic dopamine or serotonin levels, serotonin receptor antagonism and modulation of cerebral protein synthesis.

Conclusions

The ideal treatment for schizophrenia may not be a single pharmacological agent but several agents that match the different expressions of the illness, in combination with psycho-social interventions.

Keywords

Schizophrenia Clozapine Olanzapine Quetiapine Ventral Tegmental Area 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health ResearchSt Vincent’s University Hospital/University College DublinDublin
  2. 2.Stanley Research Unit, Department of Adult PsychiatryHospitaller Order of St John of God, Cluain Mhuire Family CentreBlackrock
  3. 3.Department of Human Anatomy and Physiology, National Neuroscience Network, The Conway InstituteUniversity College DublinIreland

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