By Neuroscience Education Institute

The purpose of this booklet is to give an explanation for the underlying psychophysiology of schizophrenia and psychosis and describe how presently on hand and novel antipsychotic brokers may match to amelioriate signs and produce approximately unintended effects.

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Additional resources for Psychosis and Schizophrenia: Thinking It Through

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Although the importance of cognitive deficits to treatment outcome is recognized and accepted, cognitive impairment is not currently included in the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia. Despite this fact, there is presently much discussion in the field as to the most effective ways to assess and treat cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. The Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) initiative and the Cognitive Neuroscience Treatment to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (CNTRICS) initiative have sought to develop testing batteries that will allow for the assessment of cognitive dysfunction and its response to treatment options.

Thus, 5HT and DA regulate prolactin release in an opposing manner. (C) Due to their antagonism at D2 receptors, conventional antipsychotics block the inhibitory action that DA has on prolactin and therefore lead to increased prolactin release. (D) Atypical antipsychotics such as 5HT2A/D2 antagonists allow normal levels of prolactin to be secreted. Whereas blocking D2 receptors increases prolactin release, blocking 5HT2A receptors blocks the D2-induced release of prolactin. Thus, antagonism at one receptor subtype cancels the action of blocking the other receptor, and no net change is observed in prolactin release.

A) Naturally occurring neurotransmitters, as well as drugs that stimulate receptors, are primary agonists. Drugs that stimulate a receptor to a lesser degree are partial agonists or stabilizers. Antagonists are “silent” and only block the action of agonists without having an action of their own. Inverse agonists can block the actions of the agonist, or they can reduce baseline activity in the absence of an agonist. (B) The concept of the agonist spectrum can also be adapted to the signal transduction system.

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