Schizophrenia: new pathological insights and therapies

Annu Rev Med. 2007;58:49-61. doi: 10.1146/annurev.med.58.060904.084114.

Abstract

The neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia posits an interaction between multiple susceptibility genes and one or more environmental insults in early life, resulting in altered brain development and the emergence of psychosis in early adulthood. Based on this framework, it has been argued that most neuropathological deficits observed in post mortem and neuroimaging studies of schizophrenia represent one or more lesions that originated in early life and remained static thereafter. However, recent longitudinal neuroimaging studies demonstrate a progressive component to the neuropathology of new-onset schizophrenia. This opens the possibility that the functional decline seen in many patients following the onset of illness may be halted or slowed. This review provides an update on developments in research on the neuropathology of schizophrenia and discusses recent advances in antipsychotic treatment and the potential impact on long-term outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Dopamine Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Schizophrenia / pathology*

Substances

  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Dopamine Agents