New Targets for Schizophrenia Treatment beyond the Dopamine Hypothesis

Abstract: Schizophrenia has been primarily associated with dopamine dysfunction, and treatments have been developed that target the dopamine pathway in the central nervous system. However, accumulating evidence has shown that the core pathophysiology of schizophrenia might involve dysfunction in dopaminergic, glutamatergic, serotonergic, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) signaling, which may lead to aberrant functioning of interneurons that manifest as cognitive, behavioral, and social dysfunction through altered functioning of a broad range of macro- and microcircuits. The interactions between neurotransmitters can be modeled as nodes and edges by using graph theory, and oxidative balance, immune, and glutamatergic systems may represent multiple nodes interlocking at a central hub; imbalance within any of these nodes might affect the entire system. Therefore, this review attempts to address novel treatment targets beyond the dopamine hypothesis, including glutamate, serotonin, acetylcholine, GABA, and inflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, we outline that these treatment targets can be possibly integrated with novel treatment strategies aimed at different symptoms or phases of the illness. We anticipate that reversing anomalous activity in these novel treatment targets or combinations between these strategies might be beneficial in the treatment of schizophrenia.
schizophrenia; dopamine hypothesis; novel treatment target


This is a long read, had to keep coming back to it. But it’s very interesting, and one of these days I’ll look at the references, particularly all the drugs they say are in the pipeline, and the info on the treatments based on genetics.