Biochemical Effects (in Men)

  • M. Ackenheil
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 55 / 1)


The specific effects of neuroleptics in animals are well established. They interfere with the neuronal activity of the biogenic amines, dopamine (DA), noradrenaline (NA), and sometimes serotonin (5-HT). They may also influence the activity of other transmitters or mediators such as γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), acetylcholine, and hormones, particularly prolactin. From these effects, the mechanism of antipsychotic action is concluded to be due mainly to DA-, rather than NA-receptor blockade in brain. (Carlsson and Lindqvist, 1963; van Rossum, 1966; Nybäck and Sedvall, 1968). Final evidence for this hypothesis has yet to be produced from clinical-biochemical investigations in man. Clinical-biochemical studies with neuroleptics are mainly carried out in order to answer the following questions:
  1. 1)

    To what extent are the biochemical effects known from animal experiments applicable for human beings?

  2. 2)

    Is there a relationship between antipsychotic and extrapyramidal motor system (EPMS) effects, on one hand, and biochemical effects on the other?

  3. 3)

    Are there differences between drugs inducing strong EPMS disturbances and others with less or no EPMS side effects?



Biogenic Amine Receptor Blockade Biochemical Effect Homovanillic Acid Prolactin Secretion 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1980

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  • M. Ackenheil

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