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October 1993

Schizophrenia as a Brain Disease: The Dopamine Receptor Story

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatry, University of Toronto (Ontario).

Arch Neurol. 1993;50(10):1093-1095. doi:10.1001/archneur.1993.00540100078020

Just under 1% of the world population has schizophrenia, a disease that continues to be unyielding in the search for its biological cause. Despite not knowing the mysterious origins of this life-long illness starting in young adults, the symptoms of delusions and hallucinations generally respond to medication with any of the antipsychotic drugs such as haloperidol, chlorpromazine, remoxipride, risperidone, clozapine, and thioridazine. Early intervention in young psychotic adults leads to early response within days. Late intervention, after months or years of neglecting the symptoms, leads to a much slower response of 1 to 2 months. This author's speculation is that while there may be specific brain regions (to be discovered) that are "schizophreno-genic," the longer the psychotic symptoms go untreated, the longer such psychotic brain regions drive and "kindle" the various memory and integration systems of the rest of the brain. Such kindling, as in epileptic kindling, would only serve

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