Cholinergic Mechanisms in Schizophrenia, Mania and Depression

  • J. M. Davis
  • D. Janowsky
  • C. Tamminga
  • R. C. Smith
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 24)


Current biological theories of mental disease are theories of single transmitter, single disease, that is, current hypotheses about the development of mania, depression and schizophrenia posit deficits in or excesses of single neurotransmitters. For example, depression is associated with low norepinephrine. Yet most biological functions are centrally controlled by homeostatic systems involving balance between regulatory systems, such as the sympathetic and parasympathetic control of peripheral autonomic functions. Parkinsonian symptoms provide one paradigm of how several transmitter systems may combine to produce an effect. Parkinsonian symptoms are controlled by a balance between dopamine (DA) and ACh. In Parkinsonian patients, drugs which increase ACh (or direct injections of ACh into the CNS) can worsen Parkinsonian symptoms. Alternatively, the anticholinergic drugs benefit Parkinsonian symptoms. Similarly, in connection with the dopaminergic system, administration of neuroleptics to schizophrenics can produce Parkinsonian side effects by blocking DA receptors. Dopa, through its conversion to DA, also benefits Parkinsonian symptoms.


Schizophrenic Patient Tardive Dyskinesia Parkinsonian Symptom Cholinergic Mechanism Rate Disturbance 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. Davis
    • 1
  • D. Janowsky
    • 1
  • C. Tamminga
    • 1
  • R. C. Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Illinois State Psychiatric InstituteUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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